Tag Archives: Poems

Jeremy Paxman and Poetry’s Bad Rap


A GUARDIAN UK article, written by Alison Flood and published over the weekend, quotes the Forward prize judge and TV presenter Jeremy Paxman as wishing aloud that “poetry ‘would raise its game a little bit, raise its sights’, and ‘aim to engage with ordinary people much more.’” Every so often you encounter this lament, often uttered by poets, that poetry has become irrelevant to the great mass of plain old folk.

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Pablo Neruda

There was a moment in an interview I conducted in the 1990s with American social documentary photographer, Milton Rogovin, at which it occurred to me that I had arrived at a single degree of separation from the great Chilean poet born Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, later to become Pablo Neruda. Or perhaps I ought to say I would have been at one degree of remove, had Neruda lived beyond my seventh birthday. As it is he died in 1973, a result of cancer, shortly after the Kissinger-backed military coup against Salvador Allende. Continue reading Pablo Neruda