A poet's inspiration can stem from anywhere and at any time. The poet Annie Freud offers insight into the inspiration she found in her mother's letters...

by Annie Freud

Quite a long way into the writing of The Mirabelles book, I came across a collection of letters from my mother over the past 25 years. She used to write to me often several times a week, from Cavendish in Suffolk, Aalborg in Denmark and Rhinebeck in upstate New York.

Many of these letters had remained unread because they would often arrive just as I was going out. I'd slit them open and think 'Oh, well . . . this will keep' and rush out in search of more immediate forms of entertainment.  I found amazing accounts of the battle of the sexes interspersed with sensuous pleasures, unexpected depths of friendship, self analysis, scintillating comedy, recordings of coincidence, and fluctuating loyalties to favourite writers. On the inside of the front cover, you will find her lovely painting, 'A Wreathed Jug in Autumn'.

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