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Last Sunday I was entertained by an article in the Sunday Express written by its resident poet Martin

Newell under the above title and taking up the remarks by Jeremy Paxman about modern poetry.

Mr Newell wasn't taking any prisoners. I quote:

"As a working poet for almost a quarter of a century, if this matter ever goes to the barricades, I will be

with Paxman.  The problem is that poetry has been subjected to an inelegant greedy appropriation by 

the academic world, as the literature departments of our universities hunch like daft neurotic dogs over

the much-chewed bones of poetry.  As a once-popular art form it has never really recovered."

And later - 

"Jeremy Paxman has done us all a favour.  Perhaps his proposed Poetry Inquisition could take the 

form of a weekly trial-by-TV series with our most pretentious poets asked to explain their work.  The

show might becalled The Incomprehensibles.  

If you suspect therefore that a poem which you are reading is dull, difficult or merely rubbish,

chances are it probably is.  You should abandon it immediately and read something good."

Wow!  No mincing of words there.  Ring any bells, anyone?


◄ ARROMANCHES - a Re-post of Remembrance for 2014

WOL makes the SUNDAY EXPRESS letters page ►


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Harry O'Neill

Thu 12th Jun 2014 00:07

Ah!..if only?

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