Daniel Abse

Dannie Abse was a poet, author, doctor and playwright.  He died on September 28th 2014, aged 91.

Danie Abse (3)

Danie Abse (1)

Danie Abse (2)

This reminded me of Love in the time of cholera by Gabriel García Márquez  where aging and death are prominent concepts which first emerge upon the death of Jeremiah Saint-Amour and are expanded throughout the novel.

Love in the time of cholera (2)

The single most important bird in the novel is the cunning parrot which is responsible for Dr. Urbino’s death:

Deplumed parrot

The love-sick Florentina Ariza is described in Love in the time of cholera “as sensitive to the faltering steps of ageing”. Edwin Morgan, Scotland’s Machar, in his poem “In the snack-bar” also talks about steps. The steps Morgan describes are both faltering and unfaltering, and he mentions that “slowly we go up” and “slowly we go down”. As an artist I made the “faltering-unfaltering” steps in my garden.

Faltering first

There is another famous parrot in the literary world: Flaubert’s parrot, Loulou. The search for this parrot by Julian Barnes is a most wonderful read:

Flaubert's Loulou

Dannie Abse who died recently aged 91 and his last work: Speak, old parrot.



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