I hope that [Other Men's Flowers] may continue to give some pleasure and afford some help in these difficult days. I have a great belief in the inspiration of poetry towards courage and vision and in its driving power. And we want all the courage and vision at our command, in days of crisis when our future prosperity and greatness hangs in the balance.I've been wondering what the uses of literacy will be, in the coming global environmental catastrophe, and I suspect we will see a return to poetry, song, the story, the fable, myth - those creations which are portable, condensed, and above all, can be transmitted orally. I've always said that when it comes to books you need to be ready to burn them for fuel if you have to, and indeed, we may have to.
- A. P. Wavell, April 1947 introduction to Other Men's Flowers, originally published March 1944.