I’ve recently encountered some poetry that did absolutely nothing for me. It was very clever I’m sure. It was probably very well constructed but I couldn’t really tell the fault I fear of not having a classical education.   Of course everyone will say its brilliant ‘blah blah blah’ but to quote my very clever friend Sherrie (who I suspect has classical knowledge) ‘it’s the emperor’s new clothes.’

Either way this type of poetry that either flaunts its poet’s education or life style (generally second homes in Italy) in my opinion gives poetry a bad name amongst ordinary readers because it appears so elitist. No wonder few people read poetry when it either does not reflect their own lives or appears to be written in code.

Now I’m not advocating we all write like Pam Ayres (who has her place I’m sure) but I do like to read poems that say something about my modest life, focus on the overlooked or quirky.  I also respond to visceral, emotional work, being a Romantic at heart. But most of all I love, love poet’s that have a talent for gorgeous language.  So bring on Sharon Olds, Martin Figura and Selima Hill.