Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Poetry in motion

The cultural decline of the UK was wonderfully illustrated by the seedy little struggle for the post of professor of poetry at Oxford University.

There were two candidates. The first was Ruth Padel; an largely anonymous writer who also ran the Independent poetry column. The second candidate was Derek Walcott. He is slightly better known. Many of us have a vague recollection of sitting through one of his tedious verses during their GCSEs. Unfortunately, Derek had a eye for the Laydees. While working as an academic, he "propositioned" them, and there is nothing more irritating than a lecherous lecturer.

Ruth, recognized the value of this information and leaked it to some sympathetic journalists. Derek had to withdraw his candidature, leaving Ruth with a free run. However, when she was elected, this nasty little tactic was exposed and she was forced to resign.

With these two tainted candidates out of the way, the position is being re-advertised. However, the antics of these two writers have offered more entertainment than all the poetry written since the war. English poetry is a total irrelevance. If you need proof, go into any bookshop and find the new poetry section. Then compare this paltry offering to the rest of the literature available.

The problem is easy to identify. English poetry has nothing to say to the rest of us. We respond by ignoring it.


Anonymous said...

Laughable nonsense. Peasant.

hatfield girl said...

"An old art spreading rumours about / Paradise, it begs outside the gates / Of the gods: the active gods come out."

Or are we not to count Australians?

Anonymous said...


What has this got to do with Uk Bubble/House bubble exactly?

Anonymous said...

Come on it's Labours fault, obviously, it always is. Lecturers are usually Labour Commie supporters aren't they. Oxford's Red with Labour flags all teaching irrelevant degrees at our expense. It makes my blood boil.

I bet they like immigrants and support CND as well!

McGonagal said...

To fill the post-war gone-walkabout poetry void, I offer

The boy stood on the burning deck
His feet were covered in blisters.
He split his trousers
Up the back
And had to borrow his sister's.

simon said...

Hey Alice!

I see ze French air has got to you....

dearieme said...

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

electro-kevin said...

Anon 11.15

Quite simple:

House Bubble = Plasma TVs

Anonymous said...

Axis of evil lists ,looney toons lists, AAA sovereign credit lists .

Where does that other Looney bankrupt atomic power the U.K and its great leaders fit?

The failed states list?

At least the Il kings have no record of wasting billions invading other countries to deliver “freedom“.

They just pay attention to their own national Defence from “all options on the table” rogue states looking for weapons of mass production .

Monarchy has its advantages when elections for honest politicians are a waste of time and money.

Much simpler: The King is dead long live the king .And he gets to appoint the official poet without fuss.

In korea they make poems and sing praises to the IL king.

In england they blow property bubbles ,make american allies reward corrupt banksters and labour lords and think they are more clever than stupid thick Nth koreans.

wildgoose said...

The problem with Poetry is the poor quality of modern poets. I grew up with "old-fashioned" poets like John Greenleaf Whittier. Interesting, accessible, enjoyable - and written over a century ago.

Something more up-to-date would be Ted Hughes' "Crow" - but that is still over 35 years old.

And all derided by modern poets as written by "Dead White Males". And if that is their basis for assessing the relative quality of a work is it so surprising that so much modern poetry is simply dreadful?

ed thomas said...

Dearieme- great stuff! You should write poetry you know.

Seriously, he/she's right- Larkin kept the flag flying; half mast it's true.

Oh and Alice- love this poetry thang.