"There's no insurance against dying"
by Paul Bailey
23 July 1994
Alun Lewis: Death and Beauty (BBC 2) is a short and affecting
documentary, written and directed by Jeff Morgan for BBC Wales,
about the undervalued poet and short-story writer who finally succumbed
to the manic depression that dogged him throughout his brief life
in Burma in 1944. It contains interviews with his sister, his biographer,
John Pikoulis, and the woman he loved in India, Freda Aykroyd. Lewis
was a reluctant soldier, and became more and more unhappy the higher
he rose in rank. The title comes from his wonderful poem "All
Day It Has Rained," part of which is spoken by Peter Wingfield,
the actor impersonating him. Death and Beauty ought to lead
people to his work, which I hope is still in print.