R.F. Langley Has Died

Sad news.  The great English poet, R.F. Langley, has died.  I wrote about his work here a few years ago.  Here one can find him reading.  One can purchase The Face of It here directly from Carcanet.


Ian Brinton said…
Roger used to come to Dulwich College to read poetry to the Sixth-form. His quiet and unassuming manner, accompanied by a wry and sharp wit, always went down superbly. He could make one realise the importance of small things. It was with his blessing that I gave a Paper on his work at the Olson Conference in Kent last November.
Chris Roseblade said…
Roger was perhaps the most gifted poet of his generation and an inspirational teacher. I was fortunate enough to attend his classes at the end of the 60s and start of the 70s.

To be taught by him was to be taught to see the world with new eyes. He challenged the young mind, teaching – in a way that is simply impossible in the brave new educational world of today – As You Like It, Spenser, Carlos Williams and Beckett's Molloy in what is now called Year 9; Wuthering Heights, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, Hopkins' Journals/Spelt from Sibyl's Leaves, Donne, Herbert, Oppen, Ed Dorn and Olson’s “Kingfishers” in Year 10; with Wordsworth, Henry James, Pope, Shakespeare, Prynne in the Sixth, seasoned with Pevsner, Panofsky, the meaning of Michelangelo's Medici Tombs, F T Prince, Rakosi, Adrian Stokes, Sartre’s ‘Being and Nothingness’, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and a dash of Melanie Klein thrown in along the way as one entered the Sixth. He formed the sensibility of many of us. He taught us how to feel and how to think.

Like so many of his former pupils, I remember with much affection the devotion of at least a week's lessons to the first line of a Shakespeare play, whether Barnardo's "Who's there?" or Philo's "Nay, but this dotage of our general's, o'erflows the measure". For many of us, the implications of these lines formed our sensibilities, just as the discipline of intellectual rigour and meticulous attention to detail informed our analytical practices.

He has left school and nobody cares about his motives now. Some sort of dancer has been here, who perched and glowed and whizzed and picked the pepper out of the closing air.
C C Devereux said…
A great comment above Mr roseblade, quite simply an amazing teacher who brought hardy and shakespeare to life for me as a sixth former, a brilliant man to whom I am massively grateful for the things he taught me
Matthew Estill said…
I've actually ended up here as part of recovering from bacterial meningitis - a severe form of which I developed in Dec. 2009. My 'memory' of coming round in hospital in Jan. 2010, was to find my bed littered with texts which Roger had taught me when I was one of his sixth form pupils 22 years ago. Talk about desert island disks - there I had been right on the brink of death and it was these books that I had been asking people to read to me: had thought of trying to get in contact with him to thank him for the gift he imparted all those years ago. Only to not do it until too late, to discover, as I looked him up that he has departed himself. Thank you Roger, and my thoughts with you Barbara, should you read this.

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