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London Needs New Tropes For 2012

Eyewear is always pleased to hear Jimmy Page play guitar, and to see Beckham kick a football, but feels that there's something rotten in Britain when the tired tropes of umbrellas and red doubledecker buses are hauled out to pass on the visual and symbolic Olympic torch. Worse still, though, for London's handover moment (8 minutes of rock and roll and bland choreography), was the lack of imagination - instead of flights of fancy and wonder, such as China displayed (or Athens before it), we were offered the familiar image of urban celebrity - a jaded air, a fug, of louche backstage pass cynicism hungover the handover - as if the 2012 Olympics were just one more reunion tour for some aging stars. London, and by extension, the UK - can and will do better than this, I am sure. Few other nations possess so much visual and verbal dexterity - Rowling, for one, could offer tips on how to do magic. This sub-Herman's Hermits moment, of bus stop torpor, must be by-passed quickly. London's swinging - hopefully as a pendulum, away from cliche, and into fresh, original, innovative design.

Comments

Dave King said…
... but it did mesh nicely with the Mayor of London's speech, I thought. The Rowling idea, though, is a good one. Should be followed up.

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The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.



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JOHN ASHBERY HAS DIED

With the death of the poetic genius John Ashbery, whose poems, translations, and criticism made him, to my mind, the most influential American poet since TS Eliot, 21st century poetry is moving into less certain territory.

Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.