Poem by Christopher Logue

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Poem entitled 'Miss Very Rich has scrubbed a floor today' - a short poem concerning a rich girl 'playing' at being poor, not understanding the true nature of poverty.

Administrative / Biographical History

Christopher Logue (23 Nov 1926-2 Dec 2011) was an English poet who aimed to bring poetry more significantly into popular culture and was linked with the British Poetry Revival. His work is politically charged and is related to that of Bertolt Brecht and the English ballad tradition.

He was born and brought up in and around Portsmouth before he enlisted in the Black Watch in 1944. He was posted to Palestine and later court-martialled and sentenced to 16 months imprisonment in 1945 for planning to sell stolen pay books. Between 1951 and 1956 he lived in Paris where he befriended Alexander Trocchi.

In 1958 he participated in the first Aldermaston March which was orchestrated by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War and he was also a member of the Committee of 100. He spent a month in jail having refused to agree to discontinue with his participation in the well-known 'sit down' protest in parliament Square in September 1961.

He wrote several books of poetry including 'Wand and Quadrant' (1953), 'Logue's A.B.C.' (1966), 'New Numbers' (1969), and 'Ode to the Dodo: Poems from 1953 to 1978' (1981). His poems were often written in short, terse lines and were very often political in nature. His poem, Be Not Too Hard, was put to music and subsequently recorded by Joan Baez for her 1967 album, Joan. His last significant piece, on which he spent over 40 years, was his rendition of Homer's Iliad.

As well as being a poet he was also a playwright and screenwriter. He wrote the screenplays for 'Savage Messiah' (1972) and 'The End of Arthur's Marriage' (1965). He also appeared as an actor in several films, including playing Cardinal Richelieu in Ken Russell's 'The Devils' (1971). He also wrote regularly for Private Eye magazine and the literary journal Merlin. He published his autobiography, 'Prince Charming' in 1999 and won the Whitbread Poetry Award in 2005 for 'Cold Calls'. He was made a Commander of the British Empire in 2007.

Conditions Governing Access

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Donated by Christopher Logue, 1960

Related Material

U DP163 Papers of Gavin Ewart

U DPL Papers of Philip Arthur Larkin including correspondence between Larkin and Logue

U DP165 Papers of Andrew Motion

U DP155 Papers of Anthony Simon Thwaite

Other respositories:

Correspondence and diary (1968-80) at the British Library, Manuscript Collections (Ref Add MSS 62542-44)

Literary correspondence and papers (1939-93) at the Pennsylvania State University Library