Thursday, 29 March 2012

A perfect poetical vignette of modern liberal Britain

Carol Ann Duffy
One of the readers at the poetry event I attended last night – she has something to do with publicly-funded art workshops - chose “Stephen Lawrence” by noted lesbian, mother and  Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. The reader said she had been moved to do so by hearing the dead boy's mother, Doreen, on a recent edition of Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. “She’s still fighting for justice over police corruption,” the reciter explained. Here's the poem we were treated to:

Cold pavement indeedthe night you died,murdered;but the airborne drop of bloodfrom your woundwas a seedyour mother sowedinto hard ground –your life's length doubled,unlived, stilled,till one flower, thorned,bloomedin her hand, love's just blade.
Afterwards, the lady told us she had first come across the poem in The Guardian.

The effect of all this was somewhat marred by a late arrival – a right-wing female journalist, as it happens – who opened the door of the bookshop where we gather just as we'd got to “drop of blood”. Unfortunately the door smashed into the back of the reciter, who reacted as if the equivalent of a satanist had interrupted a liberal secular version of Holy Communion.

She started from the beginning again.

Later when another reader recited a poem about racism, the Carol Ann Duffy fan commented “And it still goes on today!”

We are all to blame, in a very real sense.

I'm strongly tempted to bolster my liberal credentials by reading something by the great Benjamin Zephyr Zodiac at the next gathering. I just hope I don't cry.

1 comment:

  1. I heard this interview - it was conducted by Jenni "Fats" Murray in her best"quavery, ethereal, Jesus-how-I-feel-your-pain" BBC-voice. It was mildley sickening. As far as Carol Ann Duffy is concerned I never fully graped the meaning of the compound-noun "Fugly" [as in, how fugly can you get?] until I saw her photograph. The one of Bob Crow fits the bill too.