Christopher Logue, one of the most distinctive British poets and playwrights of the past few decades, has died at the age of 85. Perhaps best known for War Music, his reworking of Homer’s The Iliad, Logue was also known for his strong political views and his desire to tamper with tradition.
Logue began work on War Music in the late 50s, undeterred by his inability to read the language of the original and relying instead on the translations of others. Eventually, five print volumes of the monumental undertaking were released: War Music (1981), Kings (1991), The Husbands (1995), All Day Permanent Red (2003) and Cold Calls (2005).
War Music was such an ambitious undertaking, it consumed much of Logue’s life. He described himself a few years ago, in an interview with The Guardian, as a ‘rewrite man’, a title he felt was no insult. But not all his work was based on pre-existing material. His poem I Shall Vote Labour encapsulates much of the sadness and nonsense of our political system.