29 JANUARY 1965, Page 23

The Floating Life

Leafing through old diaries as ill-attired as autumn in winter's clothes: the same recurrent anguish in drowning scribbles with the ascenders reaching beyond my gravity's descent, word after word of floating life.

I looked at myself in a glass yesterday. Found me dying more rapidly than usual, the forehead greyer, moist skin greasy with city dirt, nose speckled in the magnifier, lips tight as a charity box on frosted tongue.

My dear, deep peace when will you overwhelm again this search for knowledge, when can I rest, take time in what is left of myself, browse over 1 alien leaves drinking the damp of weary seasons

as if it were some wisdom to grow old?,