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Thursday, 21 May 2015


Over the years I have lost track of the 'job' of Poet Laureate, so I thought I'd try to freshen my understanding and, amongst others, came across this article from The Independent, May 2009, just as Carol Ann Duffy was about to be announced as the latest PL.

You might find it interesting.  I did.  It was written by Andy McSmith.

His final section asks some yes/no questions:

"Do we need someone to mark national events with a poem?


* This is an old tradition evoking Britain down the ages and it costs next to nothing. Why end it?

* The Laureate is an ambassador for poetic craft from whom school pupils, and others, can take inspiration.

* In an age of shallow celebrity, the Poet Laureate is someone famous for genuine achievement.


* It is an insult to expect a serious poet to compose verses to mark a royal wedding or some such event.

* In most cases, being appointed seems to have a deadening effect on the office-holder's creativity.

*Since when was a Prime Minister qualified to nominate the country's foremost poet?"

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