Dear Poetry Society: Poetry is the new rock and roll, we're told. It's on Radio One and it's in the bookshops, backed up by a flashy marketing campaign. A long serving poet thinks this is all a bit belated

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
What is poetry? Truth or swizz? Shoddiest wing of Culture Biz Poorest paid and least attended, Cinderella unbefriended. Should it scan and should it rhyme? Sometimes, maybe but not all the time it shouldn't. Either way it must have soul, Now I hear it's rock and roll.

Rock and roll? Rock and roll? What d'you know 'bout rock and roll? Dingy dancehall, punchy pub, Draughty room and shabby club, This is where the poetry goes Keeps the art form on its toes. Hegley, Joolz and Johnny Clarke Ranting bravely in the dark. Rough-house venues year-on-year Some like poetry with their beer. Nothing like a bit of fear Takes the reading up a gear.

Quite apart from bookish jades, Poets come in several shades. If the Muse is short of jobs, Sometimes she may pester yobs: People ill-equipped to think, Junkies, brawlers, those who drink. After all, it's often said, Poets are worthless till they're dead

Now you say you've guns for hire I'm so grateful I'm on fire. Far be it from me to gripe, But your perfume . . . is it Hype? Hype - it's new from Lethargique Hint of Po-Soc up the creek Years and years being out of touch. Is it changing? No. Not much.

Ask Attila, ask Jean Breeze Ask Ben Zephaniah - please. Linton Kwezi Johnson too All know roadwork. Unlike you. Suddenly it's rock and roll. Well stap me. Upon my soul. What about those gigs we did? Don't we feature on your grid? Must be my imagination. Bums-on-Seats. They closed that station. Entertainment. There. I've said it. Nice of you to take the credit.

Poetry is rock and roll, And the Muse is off the dole. Tell the hard-pressed Lit. promoters They'll be shifting extra quotas. Grateful for this revelation, They can then alert a nation Previously happy snoring When the poetry world was boring.

In the end I wish you luck If the punters will have truck With a poet centre-stage. Rock and Roll. It's all the rage As for National Poetry Day Churlish now to stay away Rock and Roll was never fey Will I be there? If you pay.

Comments