Friday, August 05, 2005

Finally, a new poem. I think it must be a month since I've written anything decent, then I get out a poem about the photographer Lee Miller. She was a great photographer, and a tricky personality, so I've read. She produced some fantastic images, both as a fashion photographer and as a documentary photographer. Associated with the Surrealists, she was a lover of Man Ray, and became the wife of Roland Penrose, the sadly almost forgotten British Surrealist artist and critic.

We're not very good at promoting ourselves in Britain, when it comes to the arts. We think we have the right to the World Cup, though we've only won it once, but we never trumpet the talents of artists as diverse as Paul Nash, Ivon Hitchens, Ceri Richards, Penrose himself, Eileen Agar and a host of others. Instead we have to put up with grimly-nostalgic LS Lowry, or the Pre-Raphealite brotherhood of bores.

Anyway, Lee Miller was American by birth, but ended up living with Penrose in England. I met her son in Whitworth Art Gallery, at an event involving readings from her writing and a slide show of photographs. He used to not like his mother (she could be difficult, and drank too much; partly through Traumatic Stress Disorder after her experience of the war in Europe.) Then he discovered the rolls of film and her writings in the attic; now he's her greatest champion. Check out her archive at:

I'm not going to put the poem up here; I'm going to send it to a magazine, so you'll have to buy it, or download it if it's online. Besides, I suspect it needs a little time. But it's good to be back in the saddle. A poet's never happy except when writing.

But you can go to and read my review of Robert Sheppard's Lore if you wish.

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