Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Carol Ann Duffy is on form

There was never any doubt that Carol Ann Duffy was a brilliant choice as Poet Laureate and her poem for the 12 days of Christmas is total affirmation of her appointment. How else would such politically challenging material make it into the Radio Times?

Duffy is putting poetry at the centre of the arts again. It's fantastic she was chosen to hand over the Turner prize, that she's rising to these commissions with such skill, that she's writing what needs to be repeated.....what better place than a seasonal TV guide which will be in almost every home in the UK.

I hadn't read her poem first thing this morning. There I was driving into Guildford listening to Radio 4 and discussion about bankers' bonuses/executive pay, feeling utterly disenfranchised. There was never a point in my life when I remember agreeing to deepen the divide between rich and poor. I thought when I supported Labour, it was for change, imagining Labour had learned from Ken.

Ken was on this morning. I cheered up when he said 'good riddance' to bankers leaving for more money elsewhere. I've never heard a good argument for bonuses or tips either. They're like pocket money for household chores, aren't they?

Like Ken, Carol Ann Duffy's bringing what's said in the margins into the mainstream again and reminding poets of their responsibilities, too.

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