Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Pam Ayres Should Be The English Poet Laureate


Britology Watch has made an excellent post on the installation of Carol Ann Duffy as the Poet Laureate. Ms Duffy ticks all the boxes for the literati but, in my opinion, like most poets whose work is used for exams, her poems tend to be a bit of a walk uphill with heavy shopping. Who honestly recalls with pleasure, or buys (rather than has bought for them) slim volumes of Ted Hughes or Seamus Heaney. It seems that to be valued by the great and the good poems have to be the verbal* equivalent of wholemeal bread or hemp underwear. Very worthy and technically well-crafted but not much pleasure for the average reader.
Now, as Aleksandr the Meerkat might say, compare Carol Ann Duffy, "Mrs Lazarus" with Pam Ayres "Oh I Wish I'd Looked After Me Teeth". Simple, squeak. Surely Pam Ayres can capture the nation's spirit just as well as any other poet and she could produce bettter rhymes for William an' 'Arry, for example. "When the wedding banns are posted" is a phrase almost made for Miss Ayres' Oxfordshire accent as is "Doing right by the Gurkhas". So come on and make Pam Ayres the English Poet Laureate and help cheer the country up.

* verbal because poetry has to be read aloud to be properly appreciated.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great to read because today I have sent a letter to Guardian with same sentiments re Pam Ayres as poet laureate. Real reason is downright snobbery. The intellectuals regard her as "common" One last thing...all very well kids at school studying Carol Ann Duffy but majority have to learn off by heart the interpretations given by the class teacher.I beleive Carole Ann is special because people who have studied literature say so and I give them the benefit of their learning......but let's hear it for Pam Ayres who is also talented.

Gallimaufry said...

Good luck with the letter to the Guardian. I hope it is the start of a successful campaign for proper official recognition of this Great National Treasure.

Thud said...

What a great choice, she is an antidote for the gloom of these trying times but due to her non pc nature she is doomed to be merely popular and actually liked.

James Higham said...

Funny that, I was reading one of hers the other day, in an anthology.