Clive James and the modern poet.

In an exchange with the South African poet Antjie Krog at the Twentieth Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, Clive James, as reported by the poetry and prose webzine Ink Sweat & Tears, gives a very good for doing the best you can if you happen to be a practicing poet in the 21st century.

Highlights for us included… the debate of Saturday morning between Clive James and Antjie Krog on the role of poetry in culture. We particularly liked Clive James’ comment that poetry is a “solitary peacock sport – that’s why English language poets dominate – they are so competitive.” He added that there are more poets alive today than all the poets who have previously existed throughout history. This, he said, should be an indication that most poets will be entirely forgotten in a few years time “so if you realise you are going nowhere, you should go there in style.” In other words take risks because you’ve got nothing to lose.

Stuff no longer posted to the Pete Atkin Web Forum

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