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What the Poet Laureate is for

Saturday’s Guardian published a poem by Carol Ann Duffy in which she hits back (with a little help from Louis MacNeice’s Bagpipe Music) at the recently announced cuts in Arts Council funding. This would be cheering enough in itself: a Poet Laureate defending poetry, instead of writing pointless verses for pointless royal occasions. A sample:

It’s no go the pamphlet, the gig in Newcastle no go.
All we want is a context for the National Portfolio.

Three little presses went to market, Flambard, Arc and Salt;
had their throats cut ear to ear and now it’s hard to talk.
They remember Thatcher’s Britain. Clegg-Cameron’s is worse., the least of which is verse.

That’s what we call ‘going out in a blaze of glory’, I suppose; but not going out would be better still…

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