The Times article is inaccessible but a little search brings me to this
news item at the following link.

*Robert Mugabe said to admire the poetry of TS Eliot *

Robert Mugabe “studied, and admired above all, the poetry of TS Eliot.”

In an article in The Times
James MacManus recalls interviewing Mugabe in December 1974, shortly after
his release from detention. Mugable told him that, while detained, “he had
studied English on a correspondence course and yes he had studied, and
admired above all, the poetry of TS Eliot.

“I was leaving with my scoop when Mugabe called me back. He asked me
quietly if I would not mention poetry or Eliot in my article. I could see
why. A nationalist leader bent on a liberation war did not want to be seen
to be a lover of English poetry. I foolishly agreed.”

In The Guardian
Peter Bradshaw suggested that Eliot could have remained an influence.
“Maybe Mugabe saw himself as like Thomas Becket in Eliot’s Murder in the
Cathedral, sitting tight in his presidential palace, waiting for martyrdom.
Perhaps in Dubai he will ponder the lines from The Cocktail Party: ‘What is
hell? Hell is oneself./Hell is alone, the other figures in it/Merely
projections. There is nothing to escape from/And nothing to escape to. One
is always alone.’ Well, Mugabe has the satisfaction of knowing his
presidency ended with a bang.”

One has to scroll down quite a bit at this page to get here.


On Sat, Sep 7, 2019 at 7:08 AM Rick Parker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I'm posting this without having read the article yet. The browser on the
> machine I'm using now is too crippled to get the page.
> The secret that Robert Mugabe tried to hide: his love of TS Eliot ...
> Robert Mugabe emerged from 11 years in detention in December 1974 and was
> driven straight to his sister’s tin-roofed shack of a house in a township
> of what was then Salisbury, capital of Rhodesia.​ ... I was a newly arrived
> correspondent, an innocent among the hardened press corps ...