A European Poetry Picnic

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Pippa Middleton writes:

Now that summer is finally here, there's nothing I like more than to head to my local bookshop for a European Poetry Picnic! I've come up with a few hints to help you plan your own.

  • Go for authentic European food. I've chosen mini Battenbergs from Germany (the name 'Battenberg' translates literally as 'battenmountain') and French Fancies from - you guessed it! - France.
  • Don't waste your rapidly devaluing £s on expensive hampers, when you can make your very own "bookshop style" hamper from a Bertrams box, and shredded back issues of the TLS.
  • Likewise, a sheet of bubble-wrap - ask your bookseller to cut it to size - makes an ideal picnic rug.
  • Choose a quiet corner of the bookshop, so people don't trip over you when they're browsing. The W shelves in the poetry section are ideal, though you may have to tilt your head slightly if customers want William Carlos Williams.
  • Don't forget the most important ingredient of a European poetry picnic - some fine European poetry. I've chosen Dog Star Notations by Hakan Sandell, The Anchor's Long Chain by the much-missed Yves Bonnefoy, and Archipelago by Antonella Anedda, translated by Bill Coyle, Beverley Bic Brahic, and Jamie McKendrick respectively.