September 09, 2008

"The decision to withdraw the poem was not taken lightly"

The banning of the Carol Ann Duffy poem "Education for Leisure" in a GCSE poetry anthology has ripped around the world understandably with the outrage against censorship and also simple-minded stupidity.

As I read this story the thing that struck me was not the fact that the Educational bureaucrats could be so easily bounced into Reaction - it is the defining characteristic of such people - be it in health services, local government or education. The thing that stands out, which sadly isnt being said by anyone, is that the poem is a stinker. Apparently they only had 3 complains and it was withdrawn; wouldnt the world be a better place if 3 complains that it is bad poetry could have got it withdrawn - that wouldnt have been censorship, that would be saving poetry itself from the banality which is its fate.

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