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Christopher Logue Biography

(1926– ), Wand and Quartet, The Lily White Boys, Trials by Logue, Songs, New Numbers, Abecedary

poetry books include iliad

British poet and playwright, born in Portsmouth, educated at Portsmouth Grammar School. His early collections of poetry include Wand and Quartet (1953), which indicates the accomplishment in traditional lyric forms underlying less orthodox subsequent work. During the later 1950s, he was among the leading performers of poetry to jazz accompaniments (see Jazz Poetry) and was closely involved with the English Stage Company. His dramatic works include the Brechtian musical The Lily White Boys (1960, with H. Cookson) and the plays collected in Trials by Logue in 1960. Songs (1959) was highly regarded and established the emphatically socio-political and satirical character of his verse; later volumes include New Numbers (1969), Abecedary (1977), and Ode to the Dodo: Poems from 1953–1978 (1981). Logue's most concentrated achievement is generally considered to be War Music (1981), his versions of Books XVI to XIX of the Iliad, in which historical and modern conflicts are conflated to project an imaginative condemnation of warfare; he continued the project with Kings (1990), his adaptations of Books I and II, and The Husbands: An Account of Books III and IV of Homer's Iliad (1994). See also underground poetry.

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