"One of my tutors back in Switzerland was this stickly ex-classics don who'd left his post at King's College after being caught with two of his students in a position so compromising Catullus himself would have blushed . Nigel was cheerfully unrepentant about the whole thing, as evidenced by the fact that he was comfortable telling me about it as he was elucidating the finer points of Homeric Greek. His second-favorite story, though, was about this poet--his name was Simonides--who was performing one night for a bunch of rich guys when, boom, the banquet-hall collapsed and crushed everyone inside.
Everyone, that is, except for Simonides, who had, serendipitously, stepped outside just moments before the accident.
The bodies of the dinner guests were so fucked up that when it came time to arrange for the burials no one could figure out who was who. But Simonides was known for his great big brain, and so the families turned to him for assistance. "Help us," they begged him. "Help us identify our loved ones so that we might put them to rest with their ancestors! Please, sir, tell us anything you can remember!" What happened next, as Nigel told me, was that Simonides closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and then proceeded to write the names of each and every guest in the exact order of their placement at the table.
Simonides: proof that poets can actually be good at parties."
Dear Daughter, by Elizabeth Little (copyright 2014; quote is from pages 80-81 of the Penguin Books trade paperback edition).