Gawain Matters

Simon Armitage

It is almost fifty years ago that I first gained some acquaintance with the wonderful 14th century poem called ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’. Since that time I have grown to love and respect its wonderful wit and craftsmanship more deeply.

Continue reading

Why did the Chair of The Poetry Society cheat?

Why did the Chair of The Poetry Society cheat?

It was in 2004 that I took a more active interest in The Poetry Society of which I had been a member for some years. It had long seemed to me that most of the new pieces that were published as ‘poetry’ in the Society’s quarterly Newsletter and in its magazine Poetry Review were not truly poetry at all.

Continue reading

How mad was Ted Hughes?

How mad was Ted Hughes?

I ask the question because I found the process of learning a poem of his for the purpose of recitation somewhat maddening. I am used to memorising poetry. the better to perform it;  and sometimes I can master a poem in a day, but it took me months to memorise ‘The Hawk in the Rain’, the title poem of Ted Hughes’

Continue reading

Such “False and Unruly Stuff”

or "babble and balderdash"

Such False and Unruly Stuff

Ruth Padel has been ‘Chair’ of The Poetry Society, and is an authoress of note. I present here an analysis of some of her recent writing about English poetry. *** Ms Padel published a book in 2002 called 52 WAYS OF LOOKING AT A POEM.

Continue reading

“Then There’s Rhythm”

(If you can keep your ancient Greek FEET)

"Then There's Rhythm"

In her book 52 WAYS OF LOOKING AT A POEM published by Chatto and Windus in 2002 Ms Ruth Padel chooses as her first poem a piece called ‘Mrs Noah: Taken After the Flood’ by Jo Shapcott. Here it is: I can’t sit still these days.

Continue reading

On English Poetry and Poems

Some Further Thoughts

The Prattling Professor

I have a great interest in English poetry, as I am sure do many if not all members of The Queen’s English Society. I think that ‘the world of English poetry’, if it may be called that, is in considerable confusion in some respects.

Continue reading

Wading Through Blancmange

An attempt to comprehend the Editorial in the Summer 2008 edition of Poetry Review

Wading Through Blancmange

The three paragraphs of this peculiar Editorial are taken sentence by sentence, in order, as it were, to keep our footing in somewhat slippery stuff.

  1. Impossible to say whether there are more poets at work in Britain today than ever before.

Continue reading

The Journey of a Dunce?

OR: How a mere pith-helmeted end-rhymster is almost lost in a jungled swamp of syl-la-bab-ble

The Journey of a Dunce?

In the chapter Reading Poetry Today in her book 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem, published in 2002 by Chatto and Windus, Ruth Padel talks about modern poetry published in Britain that is written in English.  She promises to show how, technically, the sound supports the sense (p6) in a partnership; 

Continue reading