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Index: In Memoriam

A Celebration of the Life and Music of John White.

Round Chapel, Hackney – 14 April 2024 By Anthony Howell. lue bells under the plane trees at the Round Chapel — John might well have composed a piece for them. Now that he is dead, we will never hear the sound that might be made by blue bells. Spring is in its first light leafage. […]

To Field Flowers.

John Taylor on Philippe Jaccottet: ‘His writings show us how to invert our hesitations, our trembling, our distress into worthy, beneficial sources that can open once again like a flower after the night, after the early morning frost.’

Pierre Chappuis. 6 January 1930 – 22 December 2020.

John Taylor: ‘Beginning two years after my first meeting with Pierre in Vevey, and after I had spent a few hours with him twice in Paris, my wife Françoise and I would sometimes detour up to Neuchâtel on our long drive back to Angers, after visiting her mother in Aix-les-Bains. We would stay for a night at the Hôtel des Arts, around the corner from Pierre and Geneviève’s ground-floor apartment on the rue des Beaux-Arts.’

Empyrean Suite.

Anthony Howell: ‘James Kirkup said that “decidedly, Fawzi Karim is a poet for our times, with his strong yet beautiful voice, his indignation…and the haunting memories of certain lines that seem intended for all of us, but that few can hear in the endless tumult of what is called life.”’

Musa Moris Farhi.

Anthony Rudolf: ‘During these years Musa’s earlier defence of Nazim Hikmet saw new expression in what would become a life-long commitment to the writers’ organisation P.E.N. Around 1970 he became particularly involved in the work of P.E.N. to defend writers in prison, one of the best human rights causes in the world. Eventually he became chair of the national and international committee. Human rights have to be defended always and everywhere and not only in the obvious countries, the usual suspects.”

Nigel Foxell.

Anthony Rudolf: ‘I was a friend but not an intime, which perhaps enables a certain distance and objectivity with which to write what has to be called an interim assessment, which I hope will be of use to future writers. I have tried to make sense – with occasional deviations, hesitations and repetitions (to coin a phrase) – of the life of a man who loved women and equally loved the all-male universe of his club.’

Keith Bosley.

Anthony Rudolf: ‘”His poems”, writes Owen Lowery, “are imbued with a sense of attachment and there is sometimes regret at the processes of modernisation and urbanisation. Bosley’s poetry frequently expresses further regret at missed opportunities, especially with regard to relationships and the complications of social class and family”.

John Ashbery Was a Quiz Kid.

Anthony Howell; ‘Ashbery created intense little collages, and he was a collage in himself. Another artist he admired was Trevor Winkfield – also a poet – and British – whose iconic yet enigmatic paintings have disparate emblems in them which never quite collide, though they ought to; something one can understand the quiz kid responding to; the paintings are full of things which might mean, but do they? A feeling one can get when deep in Ashbery’s lines.’

Two visits to Paris.

Anthony Rudolf: ‘Outside the door, I realised that Yves was treating his last days (as he thought, but in fact his last weeks) as something natural for a man of his age in full possession of his faculties. He was contemplating the end without fear, with curiosity. It was an extraordinary privilege to participate in the final scene of the fifth — or should that be seventh — act of a great writer and close friend, whose dying was a lesson in life to someone twenty years his junior. ‘

Yves Bonnefoy (1923-2016), in memoriam.

Hoyt Rogers: ‘Whether we are Yves Bonnefoy’s family, friends, translators, publishers, and readers, we all join in looking back on his immense achievement with gratitude and awe. Throughout his lengthy and productive life, he selflessly refined the letter of his writings, in order to bequeath to us a lasting spiritual gold.’

W. L. Courtney.

John KMarriott: ‘No one who knew the Oxford Courtney – the brilliant teacher, the keen metaphysician – doubted that he had a logic of the head; no one who knew him in his later and mellower and happier years could ever question the truth and depth of his “philosophy of the heart.” In pace requiescat.’

A ‘pomenvylope’ by Nicholas Moore.

Martin Sorrell: The type is blotchy, made worse by an expiring ribbon and a clutter of corrections hammered over the several typos. This ‘pomenvylope’, and the few others I’ve managed to read, speak to me of the frustration Moore lived with for the decades after brief fame had become neglect. They express the dogged endurance of a poet still possessed of a strong voice and the wish to have it heard.

Tango star Andrea Missé, 1976-2012.

In Memoriam. By Anthony Howell. THE WORLD OF ARGENTINE tango has lost one of its brightest proponents. Andrea Missé, who reintroduced traditional close-embrace tango to the world, was known for her fluidity, her beautiful adornments and her perfectly musical technique. Slim, trim, impeccably groomed, with the neatest footwork in the business, Andrea was a member […]

Ah Dieu! Apollinaire. 9 November 1918.

Martin Sorrell: So was Apollinaire the lone innovator? Was there anyone comparable writing in English? As Tim Kendall points out, it took David Jones, who’d served in that war, nearly twenty years to produce work such as “In Parenthesis”. Apollinaire, on the other hand, wrote both spontaneously and experimentally, out of the here and now. Take “Flare”, a poem of erotic charge – even yearning.