Motion calls for poetry revival

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The Independent Online
ANDREW MOTION, the newly appointed Poet Laureate, has called for poetry to be revived in Britain's schools. Mr Motion, the Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, said he was troubled by children's lack of interest.

At a meeting yesterday to outline his plans for the job of Laureate, he said that one of his main priorities was to put poetry higher on the national agenda: "I think a lot of teachers find it difficult to teach. I think parents find it difficult to understand. I think children feel it has got nothing to do with them," he said.

He said he would be talking to Chris Smith, the Secretary of State for Culture, and David Blunkett, the Education Secretary, on the issue.

Mr Motion said he could not pinpoint a reason for the declining interest, but he did not think it was due to the influence of television. He speculated that songwriters, such as Bob Dylan, may have fired youngsters' interest in poetry and words in the 1960s and 1970s, and that no similar figures had emerged since then.

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