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The Ballad of John Lennon. 1981

 
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The Ballad of John Lennon. 1981 by BERLIN, Sven (1981)
Author: BERLIN, Sven
Title: The Ballad of John Lennon. 1981
 
Year: 1981
Publisher: Unpublished
Place: England
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: Yes
 
Price: £950
 
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Added under Manuscripts  

(390x590mm) A tribute to John Lennon created by one of the longest surviving members of the St Ives school following the ex-Beatle's murder in 1981.

Executed on 'Hand Made' watermarked art paper, untrimmed with deckle edges. Berlin has written his eight stanza poem in black ink with several corrections on a background layered in gouache washes. Alongside the verses is a standing figure of a young woman wearing a blue dress and carrying a bouquet of red roses. On her hand stands the dove of peace, associated with Lennon's peace activism. Berlin has signed the work 'Sven '81.'

In this work Sven Berlin brought together his artistic skills with his considerable poetic gifts. In the poem he poses the questions: 'Why did they kill John Lennon, Man,/ The 20th Century saint?' He offers a series of mocking responses as if in dialogue with Lennon's detractors before offering his personal tribute in the final three stanzas: 'He was an Isomorphic Man/ Of glass in a thunder storm/ And hired by love and poetry/ Till they shattered his bright form... They had to kill John Lennon-/ He loved the human race.'
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