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Tom de Freston

Often, for poets and painters, chance can be a fine thing.  Or as JMW Turner observed ‘I never miss an accident!’. I had written my poem ‘A Script for Satie’  as an improvisation on the imaginary décor announced in its epigraph. It consisted of four stanzas – the first and last two – and was, to all intents and purposes, complete. But then Tom invited me to take part in his ekphrastic project, and provided a generously wide choice of paintings to respond to. I was immediately struck by the dog and bone in the foreground of ‘Hung’, and though the central suspended Baconesque creature is, of course, not a dog, the term ‘hangdog’ came to mind. So, inspired by Tom’s imagery, I wrote a further two verses as the aria that I had originally chosen to leave to the imagination, unaware that ( as I found out later ) the overall title of the sequence of which ‘Hung’ forms a part is The Charnel House, making the last line of my poem particularly appropriate.