Sunday, March 29, 2009

Poem reported missing in action 2009


To mark Remembrance Sunday last year I published a post which juxtaposed Thomas Merton's poem For My Brother - Reported Missing In Action, 1943 with photographs taken by me of the USAAF 389th Bomb Group base at Hethel, one of which can be seen above. This article, which was linked to by several USAAF veteran's websites, has now been removed following receipt of an email, extract below, from the composer Francis Pott.
... I don't see any acknowledgment ... for the Thomas Merton poem. I have set other text by Merton in the past and went through an arduous process to clear permission and pay for the privilege. Can you assure me that you have done the same thing? If not, you will presumably be in breach of intellectual property law and Merton's executors should be aware.

Regards, Francis Pott
Yes Francis, technically I was wrong to use the text of the 1943 poem. But, in this instance, don't you think Thomas Merton himself might have granted forgiveness in lieu of permission?

Settings of Merton's poetry, but no poems, here.
Photo (c) On An Overgrown Path 2009. Any other copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

3 comments:

The Wound Dresser said...

since Merton was an orphan, with his brother killed in WWII{hence, the poem} and his only living relative an Australian aunt drowned in an accident, who the hell are his heirs?I doubt, seriously, that Gethsemane Abbey is going to send the dogs out on this one.This is absurd

Philip said...

I see from his website that it has taken Pott 25 years to acquire a national and international reputation as a composer. And I see from this post that it's taken him about two minutes to acquire a reputation as a complete prat. I shouldn't look to his settings for any understanding of Merton's spirit.

The Wound Dresser said...

You know, considering that Fr. Louis took a vow of poverty, a lot of folks seem to get their shorts in a bunch when and where Merton's royalties are concerned. With his wonderful se4nse of humor, ol' Tom must be busting a gut.This is the man who described the Merton studies center at its OPENING as" a good place to cut a fart and run." Merton!