I carried a book as I walked: Immortal Poems of the English Language, an Anthology, edited by Oscar Williams. My parents had a copy lying around the house when I was a child.

I read every night before bed at home, and expected that I would have time for many books on my walk. But how many books can one man carry? The foods you want to pack on a walk are concentrated, dehydrated, freeze-dried or otherwise high-calorie and low-volume.That was my design for my books–for my single book–too.

In fact I hardly had a moment to spare for poetry, really. My evenings were extremely social, or equally tired. But on the morning  of May 15–and a fine clear morning it was, after a tempestuous night of wind and conversation and a boatload of fine port wine–I have a hangover, and the companiponship of Robert Browning. 

Round the cape of a sudden came the sea,

And the sun looked over the mountain’s rim:

And straight was the path of gold for him

And the need of a world of men for me.