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Bloodaxe Blogs Remembers Louis Simpson

Neil Astley of Bloodaxe Blogs honors the late writer Louis Simpson not only for his craft, but also for his personal life which inspired it. Astley reflects deeply on Mr. Simpson's life, praising him infinitely for the identity struggles he endured during his lifetime. Born in Jamaica, Simpson felt himself to be an outsider as he moved to and navigated through the U.S. Astley describes Simpson's poems in The Owner of the House as being "informed by a melancholy clear-sightedness, a generous, wry sense of humour, and a determination to celebrate the true lives and capacities of ordinary people. If Chekhov were reincarnated as a poet into the world where we live, this is surely what he would sound like." Louis Simpson was a creative soul in a transitory state, carving out an identity for himself in a world preoccupied with exclusivity. According to critic Bruce Bawer of The Hudson Review, "Simpson's entire oeuvre can be seen as, among other things, a prolonged fight for America - a struggle for everything that it claims to stand for, and for the real goodness at the heart of many of its people, against all things that are mean, stupid, easy, or tawdry...For all his mordant wit, he has never lost his ability to see through to the underlying reality of the human heart and the rolling years." A testimony of talent if there ever was one. "Poetry is written out of the need one has to write it," Mr. Simpson stated simply. Read the entire article here. Hear poet Louis Simpson read from Struggling Times Image courtesy of
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