Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Alberto de Lacerda at the Poetry Library

The Poetry Library at London's Southbank Centre recently had an exhibition about Portuguese poet Alberto de Lacerda and his relationship with London.

Alberto de Lacerda lived in many countries in his lifetime, but London was his greatest love and he lived here for years, also working as a BBC presenter. His friends and colleagues included Edith Sitwell, TS Eliot, Alec Guinness, Christopher Middleton and many others.

His work was new to me, but from the handwritten manuscripts and short poems displayed at this exhibition, it was extremely beautiful, personal but with the breadth of the light and the sky. Southbank was one of his spiritual homes, and apparently he was living a lonely existence in Battersea (my area) when he died in 2007 at the age of 78.

Looking at the exhibition, I felt as though I were shaking hands with this poet across years, or as though he were someone I could have smiled at or chatted with on one of my many visits to Southbank. There is something special about writers who loved the places you love.

Here are some photos from the exhibition:

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