Radiohead’s Poetry Inspiration/Nuno Judice Dies – Poetry News Roundup March 20th

Today’s poetry news roundup examines the possibility that William Blake’s poetry inspired a Radiohead hit and the death of the Portuguese poet Nuno Júdice.

Were Radiohead’s Lyrics Inspired by William Blake?

A copy of a paperback book of poetry by William Blake may offer the suggestion that the lyrics to the song by Radiohead that appeared on the album OK Computer might have been inspired by the words of the poet himself.

The book, “Songs of Innocence and Experience”,  which was donated by Radiohead’s frontman Thom Yorke to an Oxfam charity shop, contains a number of notes, which appear to have been added by the singer. In the margin, Yorke had written lyrics that were from the song “Airbag”. The song which appeared on the band’s 1997 album is often lauded as one of the best albums to have been written in rock music history.

The book was originally put up for sale in the shop for just 50p, but it has since been appraised by experts, and will now be going up for auction in April. Lyrics by the singer are penned on the inside cover and there are several other notes written throughout the book.

The rare book expert who was asked to examine the book is himself a huge fan of Radiohead. Once he had had a chance to examine the book properly, he realised it was worth a lot more than 50p, and it was removed from the shelf. The shop contacted Yorke to check if it would be okay for them to take the book to auction, and he was happy for them to do whatever was best for the charity.

The 1960s penguin paperback is in a rather tatty condition, but the notes that it contains not only show the connection between the band’s songs and the poet’s words but also contain what may well be the very first draft of “Airbag”.

The book was donated to the shop about eight months ago and it is hoped that it will raise anything up to £1,200 at auction, a considerable amount more than the 50p it was initially marked up for.

Portuguese Poet, Nuno Júdice, Has Died Aged 74

One of the most significant figures in modern Portuguese literature, Nuno Júdice, who was known for his essays, poetry and as a literary critic, has died at the age of 74.

Born in Algarve, Júdice wrote his first poetry at the age of eight. He came to prominence in 1972 with his debut collection, which was followed by over thirty additional collections of poetry and also a number of dissertations.

During the course of his career, he explored a number of different literary forms, and in 1993, he published an anthology about Portuguese literature – it was first published in French.

In an academic capacity he wrote extensively about Portuguese authors and poets as well as being knowledgeable about everything from Renaissance and Medieval literature to contemporary works.

In addition to his own work being translated into a number of different languages, he was responsible for translating plays by Shakespeare and Corneille and poetry by Emily Dickinson into Portuguese.

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