Dannie Abse


A Welsh Jew who trained and lived in London, his heritage is clear in his poetry:

Case History

'Most Welshmen are worthless,
an inferior breed, doctor.'
He did not know I was Welsh.
Then he praised the architects
of the German death-camps--
did not know I was a Jew.
He called liberals, 'White blacks',
and continued to invent curses.

When I palpated his liver
I felt the soft liver of Goering;
when I lifted my stethoscope
I heard the heartbeats of Himmler;
when I read his encephalograph
I thought, 'Sieg heil, mein Fuhrer.'

In the clinic's dispensary
red berry of black bryony,
cowbane, deadly nightshade, deathcap.
Yet I prescribed for him
as if he were my brother.

Later that night I must have slept
on my arm: momentarily
my right hand lost its cunning.


ConsiderIn the theatreFurther reading and referenceswww.contemporarywriters.com/authors 

Penguin Modern Poets Vol 26 1975 pp63-4 

http://lidiavianu.scriptmania.com/dannie-abse.htm  Incidentally this is a good example of a bad interview.

updated: 22/03/2010