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Time’s immemorial work

I am struggling to remember a year with a death toll like it. Then I realised it's not that more people are dying; it's an observer effect

By Sam Leith   April 2016

"David Bowie went—we all noticed that" © Photobra|Adam Bielawski/wikimedia commons

“The high ones die, die. They die. You look up and who’s there?” So, in “Dream Song 36,” did my great hero the poet John Berryman express the problem. The grown-ups get scythed down by the grim reaper and you, still feeling yourself no less a child, eventually look around and realise that there’s nobody left to look up to: you’re it. Or, as Berryman put it in another poem:…

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