Anglo-Hungarian poet George Szirtes often posts huge chunks of his latest translation on his blog, a free universal lunch if there ever was one. For a break, he writes sizzling stuff like this, because he can.
Dury was never quite punk. Punk felt to me like an intellectual gesture, a feeling that was a thought. It immediately spawned writing and theory. In that sense - in the sense that it was theoretical - it wasn't fully English, not, at any rate, as I think of English. Dury, though an educated man - Royal College of Art, and clear references to reading - was more belly-wit and in many ways more troubling than punk. Punk aggression was a fully articulated conscious gesture. Dury's demon worked its way through the body into word, heavy blurty body-words that needed an agile body music like jazz funk.I liked the struggle, the way the demon got smart without losing its energy. The struggle was with the chains of the body. The struggle gave him energy, and the energy gave him wit. Struggle, energy and wit made for exhilaration. The best songs - and there are probably not that many of the best ones - I find enormously exhilarating. How much of that is down to Chas Jankel and the Blockheads? A great deal.