Letters: In Brief

Sir: Ruth Padel (Comment, 2 November) argues that pop lyrics cannot be poetry. "Poetry" is described as "metrical composition". Musical lyrics, though not necessarily pop lyrics, are then more poetic than the modern "poets", who seem to jumble groups of metaphors together in prosaic form, with no apparent metre and certainly no verse . A lot of the better rock groups combine metaphors, metre and rhyming verse. This was how all the celebrated poets of the past wrote .

CHRIS O'SHEA

Greystones, Co Wicklow, Ireland

Sir: Denis Cobell of the National Secular Society (Right of Reply, 2 November) says that "gays and Muslims suffer the same kind of defamation and misrepresentation from the media and neither are protected by law". This is not true. Muslims are protected under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, as the Crown Prosecution Service has made clear. Anyone found guilty of attacking or harassing people under this law cannot use as a defence that they were attacking their victim's religion rather than their race. Homosexuals have no protection at all. Besides which, a great deal of virulent anti-homosexual rhetoric emanates from the Muslim community itself.

TERRY SANDERSON

London W5

Sir: Terence Blacker says Mohamed al-Fayed "brings out the John Buchan in all of us, the acceptable face of English dago-phobia ("The foreigner it's OK to hate", 3 November). John Buchan was Scottish - or has he been given honorary Englishman status because the Scots are whiter than white in such matters?

DEREK MAGRATH

Great Malvern, Worcestershire

Sir: Perhaps Maurice Millen (letter, 31 October) does not remember the experiment in the Seventies when we had British Summer Time throughout the year. The experiment was supposed to last for three years but was ended after two. I remember, if he does not, the unbelievably depressing effects of getting up and going to work in the dark for more than four months.

DORA THOMAS

Shrewsbury

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