Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A correction ...

... and a rather important one. Contrary to what was said in a comment attached to this post Some very nice words ... poet Stephen Magee is not dead. The passage in question is this:

As our community's circles continue, I e-mailed our friend Sarah Crown of The Guardian, to mention that we were linking to three of her articles this week, but also another one which may be of interest to her, the one from Bexhill Today (with offices in East Sussex, by the way), that someone in "the community"--not that I used those words--has died; Stephen Magee, ring a bell? It should to many of you. I Googled. Stephen Magee, as I wrote to Sarah, "is probably the same poet who wrote both 'Rightly' that appears in John Burnside's workshop [that has Pam Varnum's], and "Temeraire" in David Harsent's."
It was his sister Anna Elliot's words in the article, not the later connections made through Google, that convinced me his death should be announced in our new "Poetic Obituary" section, by saying that he "loved to write and had some of his poetry published." It only follows that like many of us who are so passionate, Stephen Magee would submit his poems to The Guardian.

Stephen himself, however, has just me an email, in which he says:

Towards the end of the blog, you reproduce a report that I am dead. The mistake is quite understandable, since there can't be too many published poets called Stephen Magee (especially, although the author of the report didn't know this, two who come from Belfast). Nevertheless, I'd like to set the record straight: the author of "Rightly" and "Temeraire" is alive and well and living in Sydney, Australia.

As I told Stephen in my reply, this is good news indeed. Here, by the way, is a link to one of the poems he mentions, "Rightly" - to find it, just scroll down: Other lives .


  1. Lovely story. Does it remind you of that John Buchan book I posted about once, the one where you could see into the future, and two of the characters foresaw their own deaths? One of those was a mistake, I recall. (I think the book was called The Torn Curtain.)

  2. Life imitates art so often you have to wonder of there isn't more than a causual connection between the two. Of course, I have long held that imagination is the governing faculty of human consciousness.