Sunday, May 31, 2009

Popular poetry

Just when I start a movement - Poetry|Pulp - to get the appreciation of poetry into hearts and minds, the fecking BBC start a series on poetry, aiming to do the same thing. Being the BBC they will probably succeed, but also being the BBC it will probably end up seeming as aloof and inaccessible as it did before. What is the right approach, and how are we going to jam the hoof of poetry into the mouths of the confused? What we need first is a receptive audience but, let's face it, poetry is never going to appeal to the masses.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Not a Laure laughs

So, outgoing Poet Laureate Andrew Motion says that the job of writing verse for the Royal Family is "thankless" and gave him a case of writer's block. I'm not surprised. Where is the inspiration of an outmoded monarchic system that only serves nowadays as a tourist attraction? What he should have done is never accept the 'job' in the first place. Ted Hughes made a pig's ear of it - his Royal verses are worthless, as Motion admits his are too. And the poetic impulse has left him, much as it left Philip Larkin, although he (Larkin) admitted it was more as if his gift were taken away.

The publicity would have sold him a lot of books, but at what cost?