In Search of Vitamin P

Years ago a friend in London told me that the playwright Harold Pinter wrote rather poor poems -- my friend called them, in fact, "pukey little poems" -- that he sent out in multiple Xerox copies to friends, then sat back to await their praise.  One such poem was about the cricketer Len Hutton, the English equivalent of Joe DiMaggio; the poem, in its entirely, runs: "I knew Len Hutton in his prime, / Another time, another time." After Pinter had sent out the copies, its recipients, as usual, wrote or telephoned to tell him how fine the poem was, how he had caught the matter with perfect laconic precision, how touched and moved they were by it -- with the single exception of a man who made no response whatsoever.  When Pinter hadn't heard from this man after two weeks, he called to ask if he had in fact received the poem.  "Yes," said the man.  "Well, Simon, what did you think of it?"  Pausing briefly, the man replied, "Actually, I haven't quite finished it."

From Joseph Epstein's Gossip

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