I always find it difficult to speak of Maz without sentiment and without people suspecting hyperbole. That being the case, I'll contain my remarks to those that will create little controversy among those lucky enough to know her.
No tribute does Margaret justice. Maz is remembered for everything from her opinions on book reviews to her dealings with transparent trolls (e.g. "...mind-reading is easy when there's such large print involved"). Unfortunately and as far as I know, "Epigraph: The Pismire Oration" is the only recording of her voice. She was also notoriously camera shy; the two photos of her that you see here are the only ones I've encountered. While sparse, her Wikipedia entry is informative.
Now, that would be a rejection slip!" That Maz was voted the best poet of our time by the world's toughest critics before she wrote her signature poem, "Studying Savonarola", is a matter of record. She was highly regarded as the co-editor of Worm, revered as a critic on PFFA, Gazebo and Eratosphere, and was the only Brit ever celebrated as a Guest Poet on Poets.org's critical forum.
It is a testament to her characteristic modesty that, when informed of the latter honour, she asked the contact person to check his sources, certain that there must have been an error in communication. That functionary replied: "Yes, Poets.org should make more such 'errors'!"
check out the text to "Studying Savonarola" and then a technical analysis of it.
It should quickly become obvious why some of her fans have adopted the mantra "those not jealous of Maz have the most reason to be." Margaret's grace, generosity, wit, and talent made a fan of anyone who read her poems, critiques or commentary. To quote one fan:
"Talking about Margaret Griffiths is bittered by sorrow, sweetened by memory, and distinguished by understatement being mistaken for hyperbole. She had the wit of a Dorothy Parker, the insight of a Don Paterson, the practicality of an Adrian Mitchell, the technique of an Algernon Swinburne, the critical skills of an Ezra Pound and the humility of an Emily Dickinson.
"As a critic, this century provides no superiors.
"As a poet, this century provides no peers.
"As a role model, history provides no proximates."
Studying Savonarola (by Margaret Griffiths) posted by Earl Gray on Vimeo.
I have only one thing to add to D.P. Kristalo's alexandrine elegiac sonnet: I miss Maz.
Grasshopper posted by Earl Gray on Vimeo.
There are no stars for us. Fate-weary heroes, roads,
and thrones won't anchor us this far from London light.
No sirens skirl for us, no crow or squirrel goads
us, sounding rancorous, as shadows turn to night.
You dreamed of holy mud, tanks melted down to spoons,
of standing by the Thames, the last of those who warred
against the staining blood, against the draining moons,
against the crippling memes, against the Vogon horde.
Time jumps, grasshopper style, as London light recedes.
Your verses, in their youth, will cross the Bridge of Sighs.
Night falls to mourning while my every breath concedes:
you spoke the wicked truth and I the honest lies.
So says Calliope: "Your orphaned words will reign
where coast ends path and sea, while time and space remain."