22 OCTOBER 1954, Page 13

IN THE MOVEMENT SIR,—When will somebody write, print or read

the poem that will make correspondence on the subject of movements seem a silly and idle time-waster ? It is time we stopped talking criticism, either in verse or prose, and started to build our lives into poems or novels. I am told that a start has been made already in fiction, by Mr. Wain and Mr. Amis. But to my knowledge nothing has yet been done in poetry. I have seen countless poems by young men of talent composed in a decent and clever way. But I have heard the voice of no one who has looked on words as the source and the ruin and the salvation of life.

We must create in our age an appetite for words, and through them for a vision of life. I am hungry for good poetry. I hate the mean- ness of soul which uses worn-out diction and has mere intellectual skill. I am horrified by the dryness which has been acclaimed the new Poetic discovery of our time. So I ask every- one not spiritually committed to aridity to concern himself, in silence and hard work, with the building of a poetic language which will lead us out of these barren deserts of the post-war heart, into a land where miracle and revelation may begin. The "philosophers, like Wittgenstein, have reduced great myths of creation to a muscular Problem of vocabulary. But Wittgenstein followed his pursuit of words into a land- 'cape of madness where the birds could again Sing, and were not afraid to feed from his hand. Our mouths should be shut in shame until we have the courage and the heart to enter that land beyond the alpha and the omega of language. After the fall from the garden there is no language but journalism. Only a new incarnation of the word can restore us to the speech of poetry.—Yours faithfully,

RICHARD MURPHY College Franco-Britannique, 9 Boulevard Jourdan, Paris XIV