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On this day in 1887 the famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier (his real name was Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris) was born.
Originally interested in painting as well as architecture, Le Corbusier first embraced Cubism before evolving his own style that he called Purism. He became particularly interested in urban living and large scale constructions such as tower blocks, the most famous of which being the ‘Unité d’habitation’ in Marseille, designed in the 1950s.
He later took to designing cities for several million inhabitants, some very futuristic indeed. They did not meet with universal approval. He was however much in demand and his death in 1967 was notable for the tributes that came from all parts of the world.
This poem is about London and its buildings. It is by Scottish poet William McGonagall, often dubbed ‘the worst Poet of the English language’ for his (supposedly) unintentional mangling of metre, mood and vocabulary. See what you think:
As I stood upon London Bridge and viewed the mighty throng
Of thousands of people in cabs and busses rapidly whirling along,
All furiously driving to and fro,
Up one street and down another as quick as they could go:
Then I was struck with the discordant sound of human voices there,
Which seemed to me like wild geese cackling in the air:
And the river Thames is a most beautiful sight,
To see the steamers sailing upon it by day and by night.
And the Tower of London is most gloomy to behold,
And the crown of England lies there, begemmed with precious stones and gold;
King Henry the Sixth was murdered there by the Duke of Glo’ster,
And when he killed him with his sword he called him an impostor
Today I give thanks for variety in everything and the freedom of choice that should be the right of all.