Simon Howard was a poet, an intellectual, a man of extraordinary cultural breadth and reading, and my friend. Not always an easy friend; he could be fierce and uncompromising. He was certainly angry – angry and despairing about the society we have become and the values that society enshrines, that anger recently intensified by trying to negotiate the remains of the welfare state. But he was also so generous: this blog benefitted from his critical view, his suggestions for things to read and think about. But what we shared was, of course, so much more than that. Music above all.
Faced with Simon’s passing and his personal struggles that preceded it the conventional words of condolence – about resting in peace – seem more banal than ever; a sense of the waste and pointlessness seem so much more right. But the poems remain – and they can be found here.