Friday 30 January 2009

Reflections on the Laureateship

Wendy Cope is to be commended for ruling herself out of contention for Poet Laureate - but is she going a tad too far in calling for the post to be abolished? For myself, I'm all for preserving traditions, and the more crazy and pointless the better - they're an essential countperoint to the illusions and delusions of 'progress' and 'reason', and let's face it, we Brits are pretty damned good at crazy pointless tradition - or we always were. At the time, the appointment of Andrew Motion as Poet Laureate looked like either a masterstroke of crazy pointlessness - or a sign that the whole thing was now being played for laughs. The next step - if only he'd lived - would have been to appoint Harold Pinter...

What are they doing?
They're fucking getting married.
William and Kate.
Fucking getting married.
Fuck them.

Where was I? Oh I dunno - but let's keep the Laureateship, and best make it Simon Armitage. He'd do a decent job - and at least (unlike some we could name) he can write verse.


  1. That's actually one of Pinter's better efforts. Quite funny on its own. (Not funny amongst a hundred just like it).

    Your comments on TE about Armitage getting the post because he was 'no poet' contined to bug me.

    On poetry generally, one thing you find is that there are frighteningly large numbers of quite talented amateurs out there trying to get published, and they're nearly all women, and they're nearly all writing exactly the same thing in exactly the same style.

  2. I think you nailed it yourself Brit, by distinguishing between two kinds of poet. Hill's one kind, Armitage is another (and Andrew Motion is genuinely no poet). My throwaway remark was unfair of course (I mean, this is a blog not a seminar) but I'm afraid if it came to salvaging either Hill or Armitage from the wreckage of civilisation, I'd choose Hill. Happily it will never come to that, so it's all academic (in a non-academic sense)...

  3. The Sixth Commandment of Blogging states that:

    All throwaway comments shall be Dug Up, taken as literally as the user wishes, and used against you For All Eternity.

  4. That one should be in Brit's Big Book of Wisdom. Absolutely true. I have throwaway lines that are still coming back to haunt me three years later.

  5. At some point i'm going to have to read through my whole blog from start to present and delete some of my more Hitler-like posts.