From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Christopher Logue, CBE (23 November 1926 in Portsmouth, Hampshire – 2 December 2011) was an English poet associated with the British Poetry Revival. He also wrote for the theatre and cinema inadiition to acting in several films. His two screenplays were for Savage Messiah and The End of Arthur's Marriage. He was also a long-term contributor to Private Eye magazine, as well as writing for the Merlin literary journal of Alexander Trocchi. He won the 2005 Whitbread Poetry Award for Cold Calls.
His early popularity was marked by the release of a loose adaptation of Pablo Neruda's "Twenty Love Poems", later released as an extended play recording, "Red Bird: Jazz and Poetry", backed by a Jazz group led by the drummer Tony Kinsey.
His major poetical work was an ongoing project to render Homer's Iliad into a modernist idiom. This work is published in a number of small books, usually equating to two or three books of the original text. (The volume entitled Homer: War Music was shortlisted for the 2002 International Griffin Poetry Prize.) He also published an autobiography entitled Prince Charming (1999).
His lines tended to be short, pithy and frequently political, as in Song of Autobiography:
- I, Christopher Logue, was baptized the year
- Many thousands of Englishmen,
- Fists clenched, their bellies empty,
- Walked day and night on the capital city.
He wrote the couplet that is sung at the beginning and end of the film A High Wind in Jamaica (1965), the screenplay for Savage Messiah (1972), a television version of Antigone (1962), and a short play for the TV series The Wednesday Play titled The End of Arthur's Marriage (1965).
He also appeared in a number of films as an actor, most notably as Cardinal Richelieu in Ken Russell's film The Devils (1971) and as the spaghetti-eating fanatic in Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky (1977).
Logue wrote for the Olympia Press under the pseudonym, Count Palmiro Vicarion, including a pornographic novel, Lust.
Logue's widow is the biographer Rosemary Hill; the couple married in 1985.