Tuesday, 13 December 2011

RIP Christopher Logue

I ought to read the paper more. I've only just caught up with the fact that Christopher Logue died a couple of weeks ago on 2nd December, aged 85. He's been at the front of my mind this month, too. It was all sparked off by Dick Jones, who posted recordings of Logue's excellent Red Bird EP on his Patteran Pages blog (from which I have borrowed the photo - I feel sure Dick won't mind). If you haven't been there to listen to Logue's jazz-accompanied loose translations of Neruda, do go: they make a great epitaph for the man.

Dick's recordings got me going back to Logue's poems - I've had a copy of his Ode to the Dodo sitting on the shelves for years. I won't write about it at length, only to say that he speaks with a bold, musical, refreshing authority. I'll just quote this, from New Numbers (1969):

Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It's too high!
COME TO THE EDGE!
And they came,
And he pushed,
And they flew.

2 comments:

Gwil W said...

Thanks for the Patteran Pages link. It's well worth a visit. There a nice item about clocks.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for this comment, Gwilym. I'm surprised you didn't know Dick's blog - but then that's the blogosphere. Sometimes it takes on an illusory smallness: one can forget how big it is and assume that everyone one finds interesting knows everyone else one finds interesting.

In my Logue post I made no mention of his translations/overdrafts of Homer, which preoccupied him after the era of the poetry I do talk about, not to mention his work for Private Eye. I posted about him because, having found myself going back to that early poetry I was astonished to discover just how much I enjoyed it. Perhaps its because I think we need an age of iconoclasm in poetry now. Logue managed to be cheerful and iconoclastic at the same time.