Clive James

Verse Letter

In reply to Ann Baer, aged 101, of Richmond-on-Thames.
Your handwriting, so perfect for its style
And firmness, made me feel that this must be
A brilliant schoolgirl. Hence my knowing smile
At your comparing of my maple tree
With Tennyson’s. But further down the page,
And seemingly in passing, you revealed
The secret of your learning: your great age.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in