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Unread 04-21-2019, 01:10 PM
R. S. Gwynn's Avatar
R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Beaumont, TX
Posts: 4,610

We were friends for the better part of ten years. I'm proud to have brought him to the states for the first time. We went to a baseball game in Houston (John was big on cricket), and he met with my students over a week. I knew he'd be a big hit at West Chester. It's a shame that his books are so hard to get in the U.S.

I like what Orwn says about John's poetry being "conceptual." Most of his poems turn on an unusual conceit, in a very special sense of the term, and he is equally a poet for eye and ear. He was the real thing.
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Unread 04-21-2019, 01:12 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,142

I am profoundly sorry, bound to miss
that ever witty, tuneful stream of his.

Requiescat in pace.

Last edited by Erik Olson; 04-21-2019 at 02:18 PM.
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Unread 04-21-2019, 01:18 PM
Maryann Corbett's Avatar
Maryann Corbett Maryann Corbett is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 9,605

The Sphere has given me many great gifts, but John Whitworth's poems are right up there with the biggest ones. I'm very sorry to hear he's gone; I've missed him and will miss him. I'll treasure his books.
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Unread 04-21-2019, 01:25 PM
Mary Meriam's Avatar
Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: usa
Posts: 7,536

“Always best not to court oddity. We are all quite odd enough already.”
—John Whitworth

RIP, dear friend.
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Unread 04-21-2019, 02:07 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Staffordshire, England
Posts: 3,826

I just read Walter's post on here and was very moved by it. When I was a Sphere newcomer (as, relatively, I still am) and fell obsessively in love with the place, I would google people who interested me and read old sphere threads, learning more, making connections like a detective putting pieces together, or like someone trying to get up to speed with a particularly complicated TV show 20 years into its run. I think I was just amazed that poets were suddenly flesh and blood and that I knew some of them. I found, somewhere, the interview Walter did with John. And also, I recall, a lovely picture of them both on a boat. I was already aware of them separately but I found this sudden link between these two people – on the surface so different, in nationality, politics, age, poetic style, cultural touchstones – well, just the most heartwarming thing. And I really liked both of them. Sorry for being indulgent. Poetry is what binds us, I suppose is what I'm saying.
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Unread 04-21-2019, 03:08 PM
Melissa Balmain Melissa Balmain is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Rochester, NY USA
Posts: 200

John wasn't "only" a comic poet, of course, but he wrote some of the smartest, funniest, most indelible poems ever to appear in Light. I'm so glad I got to know him a bit during his occasional stateside visits--and during my own trips to London. My heart goes out to all his family and friends.

Anton just shared this recent (and apt) gem on Facebook, but in case some of you missed it, here goes:
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Unread 04-21-2019, 04:08 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 6,635

I did not know John was ill. I wondered why he hadn't been posting for the last few months and was concerned. I am very sorry to hear about this. My condolences to his friends and family.
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Unread 04-21-2019, 04:31 PM
David Rosenthal David Rosenthal is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA, USA
Posts: 3,130

Sorry to hear this news. I never met John in person, only on here, but I appreciated my interactions with him here. He was always an engaging presence in this community, and funny, and a fine poet.

David R.
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Unread 04-21-2019, 05:21 PM
Quincy Lehr's Avatar
Quincy Lehr Quincy Lehr is online now
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 5,441

A really fine poet who will be missed greatly.
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Unread 04-21-2019, 06:06 PM
Martin Rocek's Avatar
Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 4,486

Very sorry to hear this, and thank you Walter for the fine interview!
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