Last month, whilst in Venice, I read news of the deaths of two giants of modern literature.
The Russian poet, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, who came to prominence in the 1960s, died in the USA, aged 84. Best-known for his epic work, Babi Yar, which commemorates one of the worst Nazi atrocities of World War Two when tens of thousands of Jews were murdered in the Ukraine, Yevushenko was one of the first foreign poets whose work I encountered.
We also said farewell to Derek Walcott, the legendary Caribbean poet and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, whose work embraced almost every poetic form. He died at his home in St. Lucia, aged 87.
In T S Eliot's poem, The Waste Land, dedicated to former Venice resident, Ezra Pound, he referred to April as the cruellest month. For poetry lovers, this year, it was surely March.