Now, I have, very unfortunately, had to do several poems from this book called the ‘anthology’ for GCSE English, and the poems I have to do are just disgusting: just take this one, by a “Simon Armitage”:
I’d been tired, under
the weather, but the ansaphone kept screaming:
One more sick-note, mister, and you’re finished. Fired.
I thumbed a lift to where the car was parked.
A Vauxhall Astra. It was hired.
I picked him up in Leeds.
He was following the Sun to west from east
with just a toothbrush and the good earth for a bed. The truth,
he said, was blowin’ in the wind,
or round the next bend.
I let him have it
on top of the road out of Harrogate – once
with the head, then six times with the krooklok
in the face – and didn’t even swerve.
I dropped it into third
and leant across
to let him out, and saw him in the mirror
bouncing off the kerb, then dissapearing down the verge.
We were the same age, give or take a week.
He’d said he liked the breeze
to run its fingers
through his hair. It was twwlve noon.
The outlook for the day was moderate and fair.
Stitch that, I remember thinking,
you can walk from there.
How can this be accepted at poetry?
Who was the smart-arse who put this and things like this into this book? What do you suppose 14- and 15-year-olds are supposed to write about this, commeniting on “how the author uses language to convey emotion and feeling”?
More examples of terrible poems like this are:
Havisham – Carol Ann Duffy
Vultures – Chimua Achebe
And many others that I can’t be bothered to write up. You can learn about the “anthology” here.