UK

Elegy

David Cooke
Big Muff

JOHN MARTYN
(i.m. 1948-2009)

In the picture-perfect scenery of Challes-les-Eaux
in seventy-five, locked in private darkness,
I played your lost indefinable music
on a tired loop of tape: Solid Air –
its title track an elegy for a friend you couldn’t save,
while you were destined to survive.
With a brawler’s zest for living,
you absorbed the booze and heartbreak.

When I heard you had died I found you
in the afterlife of YouTube, restraining tears
for grief you’d caused,
knowing your muse, Serendipity,
had always been a harsh one, that even now
there could have been no easier way.

David Cooke

I received this a week ago and today, what would have been John's 61st birthday, seems a good day to publish this elegy. David writes:

Front Row

John Wilson
BBC Radio 4

Monday 9 February
John Wilson presenting

John Martyn
Shortly before the recent death of the influential musician John Martyn, John Wilson recorded an interview with him in which he reflected on his life and his music. As well as hearing extracts from the interview, novelist Ian Rankin and fellow musician Danny Thompson pay their respects to the British singer-songwriter.

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