[1969:] C. Day Lewis [...] writes in his book 'The Lyric Impulse': "Unless some poets are willing to experiment with words for music, the lyric impulse as it has been felt for centuries may fade out completely, and the lyric tradition be dead." [To 'Poems and Jazz in Concert'] I have invited poets [like Edwin Brock] whose work I admire and whose poems - although written for the page - display a certain directness, which enhances their oral appeal. And directness, it seems, depends on a poem having one or more of several qualities, singly or combined: an unashamed lyricism, a comic surface, an evocation of the familiar, a colloquial tone, an urgent contemporary relevance. (Jeremy Robson, Poems from 'Poems and Jazz in Concert', Souvenir Press, London, 14f)
Original by Edwin Brock:
There are many cumbersome ways to kill a man.
You can make him carry a plank of wood
to the top of a hill and nail him to it. To do this
properly you require a crowd of people
wearing sandals, a cock that crows, a cloak
to dissect, a sponge, some vinegar and one
man to hammer the nails home.
Or you can take a length of steel,
shaped and chased in a traditional way,
and attempt to pierce the metal cage he wears.
But for this you need white horses,
English trees, men with bows and arrows,
at least two flags, a prince and a
castle to hold your banquet in.
Dispensing with nobility, you may, if the wind
allows, blow gas at him. But then you need
a mile of mud sliced through with ditches,
not to mention black boots, bomb craters,
more mud, a plague of rats, a dozen songs
and some round hats made of steel.
In an age of aeroplanes, you may fly
miles above your victim and dispose of him by
pressing one small switch. All you then
require is an ocean to separate you, two
systems of government, a nation's scientists,
several factories, a psychopath and
land that no-one needs for several years.
These are, as I began, cumbersome ways
to kill a man. Simpler, direct, and much more neat
is to see that he is living somewhere in the middle
of the twentieth century, and leave him there.
(Jeremy Robson, Poems from 'Poems and Jazz in Concert', Souvenir Press, London, 31f)