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.