Remembering Philip Martin (1931–2005)
What a pleasure that is. No slight man,
And no small poet. To know him was to share
His generous, sharp, inquiring gaze
As he explored the waywardness, the strangeness,
Of what’s here, now, and what’s half-forgotten.
He loved risk-taking art: uncanny insights,
Subtle passion, intricate skeins of thought,
That make the vanished still part of our lives
Whether through words, or notes, or paint. Past lives,
Past works, were never lost, to him, and never silent.
A citizen of one country but two worlds,
He travelled the Cosmopolis, and knew well
The Republic of Letters—where he’d learnt
A thousand tongues but spoke with his own voice,
Which we still hear, in all its clarity.
No mean gift from a man of many gifts.