Obituary Note: Roy Fisher

Roy Fisher, the British poet who "came to enjoy a unique reputation among his contemporaries as a humorous and versatile writer, an English modernist open to American influences, such as the Black Mountain Poets, yet distinctively English and local in his concerns," died March 21, the Guardian reported. He was 86. His 30 books include The Long and the Short of It: Poems 1955-2010; and A Furnace.

Fisher "did everything wrong--from a literary-careerist perspective," the Guardian wrote. "He rejected the political posturing that has been known to secure a writer public attention and prestige. He was indifferent to fame, and temperamentally provincial rather than metropolitan. Writing in both avant-garde and traditional modes, he was mainly published by small presses; and his early work, in the 1950s and '60s, gave way to silence for several years."

From his poem "The Afterlife":

The afterlife back then
was fairly long:
nothing demented like for ever,

nothing military. The afterlife
would come to the party.


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