… William Sieghart: ‘I want people to drop their fear of poetry’ | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
You explain in your introduction how a poem once unexpectedly came to your rescue?It was Ambulances by Philip Larkin. I had this extraordinary experience. I was about to cross the road when someone stepped in front of me and was hit by a car. I found myself pumping his heart, giving him the kiss of life – amazingly, his heart started beating again. An ambulance came, the police took my statement.
Apart from blood on my hands, I had a poem in my head – the startling poem in which Larkin reflects that all streets will eventually be visited by an ambulance. The people who see the body carried away and say “poor soul” are whispering at “their own distress”.