Monday, April 27, 2009

there was a young man from Nantucket

There was an article in the Independent today bigging up poet Carol Ann Duffy as the likely next Poet Laureate when Andrew Motion steps down (next month, I think). In a lot of ways the whole notion of having a Poet Laureate is as hilariously anachronistic, in the 21st century, as the notion of having a Royal Family, but, well, here we are. Her likely appointment is notable for a couple of reasons: firstly she is a woman, and furthermore a pretty high-profile lesbian, so there's an element of taboo-busting going on. Secondly, by a strange coincidence as far as this particular blog is concerned, she is the mother of a 14-year-old daughter, Ella, whose father is none other than - wait for it - novelist Peter Benson, subject of my last book review.

Andrew Motion seems like a thoroughly nice and intelligent chap, by the way, which in a way is more important to the job of Poet Laureate than writing brilliant poetry, which is why John Betjeman is so fondly remembered, while Ted Hughes will be better remembered for other things, mainly writing dark and savage poems and having various wives top themselves in messy and gruesome ways.

No comments: