FENTON, JAMES (b. 1949)
AUTOGRAPH SONNET WRITTEN ON A PAPER SERVIETTE, 14 lines, with an autograph note signed by the poet Peter Porter: 'James Fenton wrote the attached poem from memory on a paper napkin in a restaurant (probably The Bursa off Theobald's Road) one day in the middle or late seventies. It has never been published. Subsequently I got him to read it on a BBC Poetry Programme on Radio 3 & used it myself in a programme for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation', 1 page, tall narrow folio and 1 page, quarto, probably The Bursa Restaurant, late 1970s
You've noticed the deliberate mistake.
The coal-owners were never dispossessed
There are some more eggs in the feathered nest.
There was no filling in the proffered cake...
No manuscripts by James Fenton have appeared at auction. Publication of this poem has not been traced.
PROVENANCE: Peter Porter; Gekoski.