Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Henry Miller Counterpart, blog entry, Jan 5 06
Irving Layton, Canadian poet, died today at age 93.
Posted by S.M. Elliot
January 5, 2006

Richard introduced me to Irving Layton, the poet I consider a Canadian counterpart to my favourite novelist, Henry Miller. Both were underappreciated, sometimes reviled, and frequently forgotten. (They were the "dirty old men" of contempo lit, but Layton had the additonal stigma of being Jewish.) 80% of Irving's poetry isn't suitable for my PG-rated blog and that's why I admire him: He was honest and direct at a time when honesty and directness were the last things people wanted from poetry. They wanted pretty poems that inspired without getting too nasty, too uncomfortably true.
Once, when Richard told a librarian he was looking for Irving Layton books, she snorted and replied, "God, why?"
So, if you've never heard of the dude, I highly recommend (at the very least) reading this brief article from the CBC: It has some timeless quotes from Layton (and shows quite a lot of his overblown ego too - but what poet doesn't have that problem?).


The Zombieslayer said...

Dirty old men?

I hope when I'm old, I'm a dirty old man. I want to be like that old man who married Anna Nicole Smith. I'll even whip out a poem or two.

R.I.P. Mr. Layton.
9:15 PM

SME said...

I guess the poetry's optional. :P
8:42 PM


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