Sunday, 3 May 2009

poetry news

carol ann duffy gets the poet laureate. the best that can be said of it is that it gets poetry in the news. duffy reads a poem, the bbc has a voiceover while she's doing it. it may make the news but listen to poetry. oh no! almost immediately they pruriently skirt arund the issue of her being a woman and a lesbian! as if these too categorisations might somehow prevent her writing poetry. not that anyone should be too surprised after a week in which the britsh newspapers, yes all of them, are awash with the story of how a plain woman can sing a song. wow!

unfortunately being a woman and a lesbian almost certainly has been a limiting factor for the likes of ua fanthorpe, who departed these shores this week and who should, and most likely would have made a better poet laureate than andrew motion. she wasn't my favourite poet but in looks she reminds me of my mum and her poetry and her reading of it puts me in mind of a wordless something that will always be england in my head. my wee mum has never written a poem and classes herself as 'just a housewife'. maybe now she's happy with that but both of us know she could have done and been much, much more.


Rachel Fox said...

I like that wordless something bit.

sarah said...

I think the thing is, most people don't consider themselves bright enough, or deep enough, to care about poetry. Unless it has a thumping bass line and wicked melody attached to it. I mean, look at the way people are wallowing in their own shallowness over Susan Boyle, as you point out.

My poetry lecturer used to claim that Emily Dickinson was a lesbian. I disagree, I think she was an abuse victim, but its interesting to me that neither of these theories, both of which may seem to be indicated by her letters and poems, appear in any other book or article about her that I've ever encountered. Unless they do a Sylvia Plath, the interior life of a woman writer is seldom considered interesting.

swiss said...

i'm unsure about the bright enough or deep enough thing. these days so few people read. and then there's the poets themselves who, by their own attitudes, must shoulder a large portion of responsibility for the way their medium is viewed.

similarly with the interior life of the poet, male or female. how many when you come right down to it, don't want to make you cry with boredom? which is why their themes, broadly, are so unchanging. and dull. it's takes a talent to rise above it all! lol

i agree re emily tho - there may even be something floating about in these surrounds re the master letters. i don't know about the books but i'm sure there's mention of it in wikipedia. but then again criticism being about the work? i think not! lol

rachel - it's a green and pleasant land!

Rachel Fox said...

Cry with boredom...not on this blog! I laugh with relief and relish at your sprightly straight-talking...ha!

Do you think I have the flu or something?
Best just stay home. Like Emily...

Sorlil said...

cad's a controversial character alright, I do like many of her poems but strangely enough I didn't really enjoy her reading at stanza.