Monday, December 22, 2008

Adrian Mitchell

Adrian Mitchell died on December 20th. He was a natural pacifist, a great campaigner and, in his own words, 'a free-falling poet, playwright and writer of stories'. He believed that 'Most people ignore poetry / because / most poetry ignores people', and wanted his own poems, particularly those he wrote specifically for children, to live, dance, sing and fly - not be pinned out and dissected like dead beetles. On the day I went to interview Adrian I bumped into him on Hampstead Heath as he walked his dog Daisy, 'the peace dog'. Soon he'd introduced me to most of the other dogs and dog-walkers on the Heath that morning. 'Say hello to Daisy,' he was careful to say on each new encounter. He was a robust, gentle man ('dear good-natured Adrian,' Kenneth Tynan called him) who exuded enthusiasm.
Chris Stephenson

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