Saturday, 9 April 2011

PBS: Carol Ann via Louis MacNeice...

In today's Guardian (link to come):

Carol Ann Duffy

It’s no go the LitFest, it’s no go up in Lancaster,
though they’ve built an auditorium (still quite wet, the plaster)
a bar, a bookshop, office space … well, they won’t need wheelchair           access.
All we want is a million quid and here’s to the Olympics.

London’s Enitharmon Press was founded in 1967,
but David Gascoyne and Kathleen Raine are writing now in heaven,
with UA Fanthorpe, John Heath-Stubbs; dead good dead poets all.
The only bloody writing now’s the writing on the wall.

It’s no go the national art, it’s no go cake with icing.
All we want are strategic cuts, it’s no go salami slicing.

It’s no go the Poetry Trust, it’s no go in East Suffolk;
Aldeburgh’s east of Stratford East. As Rooney says, oh f-fuck it –
because it’s no go First Collection Prize, it’s no go local writers.
We’ve been asked to pull the plug, the rug, by coalition shysters.

National Association of Writers in Education?
No way, NAWE, children and books, the train’s leaving the station.
It’s no go your poets in schools, it’s no go your cultures.
All we want is squeezed middles and stringent diets for vultures.

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.

It’s no go the avant-garde, it’s no go the mainstream.
All we want is a Review Group, chaired, including recommendations.

Stephen Spender thought continually of those who were truly great;
set up the Poetry Book Society with TS Eliot, genius mate.
But it’s no go two thousand strong in the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Phone a cab for the Nobel laureates as they take their curtain call.

It’s no go, dear PBS. It’s no go, sweet poets.
Sat on your arses for fifty years and never turned a profit.
All we want are bureaucrats, the nods as good as winkers.
And if you’re strapped for cash, go fish, then try the pigging

Now that is what a Laureate can be for!


Mark Granier said...

Yes, thanks George, and cheers CAD (and MacNeice).

Diane said...

Her footnotes are also pure gold (Guardian Saturday Review Section).

Kathleen Jones said...

This is wonderful - I can't say it cheered me up, but it made me feel less frustrated. The arts are one of Britain's most profitable industries - how can the government justify taking a scythe to the roots?

Billy C. said...

When the arts die out, we are left with numbers, and the bankers can count us in one by one, and out one by one.

Humanity is foundering on the value of currencies.

George S said...

The campaign goes on. Thank you for the support.

Daftburger said...

Poet Laureate
Worried alot
They don't care one jot!

Cormac O'Leary said...

Great stuff from Carol Ann - as with the UK - the Irish Arts are also being cut -but our great poets and artists are silent about the decimation - time to speak up!