An email from Andrew Robinson, and a confirmation from Robert Sheppard, that Lee died at 12.10pm on July 26th.
Travers Rafe Lee Harwood
Born, Leicester June 6th.1939 : Died, Hove, July 26th.2015
Too many memories. Poet and worker.
Happier Times: Lee, Gunnar Harding, me.
Colchester, around Christmastime 1968
Extracted from An Interview with Andy Brown
Andy Brown: Another theme that goes across your work is ‘decay’. Air Clamps even invokes decay: ‘And decay gradually eats at the structures… we hope’. What is all this decay about?
Lee Harwood: I’m not so sure what I meant by ‘decay’ in some of the earlier poems, but I do know that in the later poems, such as Air Clamps, it’s about being relieved; finding a pleasure in knowing that nothing is there forever. In that poem, the fancy building is going to fall down. All this grandeur has got its comeuppance eventually. There’s one other poem in Take a Card, Any Card, called Ikon, which ends up with an image of faded angels and an evolving mollusc. Creatures are continually evolving. We’re just a passing thing. There’s a marvelous book called The Earth: an Intimate History – these strata and the Earth’s crust are continually moving and changing and shunting around – and the author, Richard Fortey, says: ‘Mankind is no more than a parasitic tick, gorging himself on temporary plenty, while the seas are low and the climate comparatively clement. The present arrangement of land and sea will change, and with it our brief supremacy’. That thing about change; it’s a chastening thing for human arrogance. But it also means that, sometimes, one might feel that everything’s a total mess, but a couple of days later it will have all shifted.