Waugh Elegy

A correspondent¬†has called our attention to an earlier posting made by Patrick Kurp on a weblog called Anecdotal Evidence. This relates to a poem by L.E. Sissman, an American poet and critic, written in the 1960s on the occasion of Evelyn Waugh’s death. A 1972 article by Sissman in The¬†Atlantic Monthly about Put Out More Flags¬†(“…this triumphant, ordered, perhaps triumphant because ordered, exemplar of the art of fiction”), which Kurp had read earlier, had¬†turned him¬†into a Waugh fan, as he explains in his posting. Sissman’s¬†poem, entitled “Elegy: Evelyn Waugh”) is quoted in full. Here’s a brief excerpt:

…impersonating an
Irascible, irrational old man
Full of black humors and still darker flights
Beyond aphotic shore on jetty nights
To madness real or bogus…

The¬†poem was collected in the volume Scattered Returns (1969). Kurp’s¬†article goes on to consider David Lebedoff’s The Same Man: George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh¬†in Love and War published in 2008 at the time the article was originally written.

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