10 February 2017

There was an article in the Guardian a while back ‘(Andrew) Motion, chairman of the judging panel for next month's David Cohen prize for literature, was trying to kickstart a debate on who was "the greatest living writer in the British Isles".

‘So far the engine has refused to spark into life. The suggestions are few, and one or two may be facetious: Amis, of course; the poet Tom Raworth; the novelist Lesley Glaister; the footballing penseur Wayne Rooney (why not Coleen?). ‘

I was the one who ‘suggested’ Raworth and join all the others in lamenting his passing.  I think a link and a second link got me to Motion’s website; otherwise I agree with Charles Bernstein this past October ‘If Andrew Motion is a poet, I don’t want to be a poet.’  So my loyalties as to who was the ‘greatest living writer of the British Isles’ had at least been noted in a formerly palatable newspaper.  If you ask me about the best reading I’ve ever attended his will come immediately to mind.. this one starts at 29:45..

Piri’ Miri Muli’ concerns: he uses the line break within the word a few times, including the first poem in his selected, to force an inversion of meaning within the sentence which came much more often in his verse, retaining a control of content used for anything but and other effects.  Also, having lived for a time in Mexico, he weighed in "Gaslight" on Enrique González Martínez’ owl in response to Rubén Darío’s swan..

poetry is neither swan nor owl
but worker, miner
digging each generation deeper
through the shit of its eaters
to the root - then up to the great tomato

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