chapter  25
2 Pages

T.s.eliot, from a Report to the Bbc, Autumn 1933

When Auden's fThe Witnesses1 appeared with poems by other poets in the 'Listener's1 poetry supplement, Sir John Reith, Director-General of the BBC, catechized the editor Janet Adam Smith on the supplement, and especially on 'The Witnesses'. 'The D.-G. wanted to know why there was so much that seemed odd, uncouth, "modernist", about our poems,' she recalled. 'He was not choleric ... but puzzled' (T.S. Eliot and the 'Listener', 'Listener', lxxiii, 21 January 1965, p. 105). T.S. Eliot was accordingly asked to deliver a verdict on the new poetry.