Letter: Poets and artists can be bedfellows

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The Independent Online
Sir: Not all poets read well in public, and not all artists make performances, but thank God some do, as clearly not all journalists write with clarity. Ruth Padel ("Exhibit A: pretension", 28 May) seems to want it both ways - artists should remain mum, but poetry readings can be performance material.

This tired pulling of the covers over to one's own side of the bed regresses to the same divisive opposition of word and image of which Padel accuses the Science Museum; it pits artist against poet in a manner which I am certain is as embarrassing for the poet Selima Hill as it is for the artist Brian Catling. Padel's little diatribe against artists reeks of a conservative populism and an alarming anti-intellectualism by which no true poet would accept to be defended.

MARTHA FLEMING

London W9

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