What You Can Get Away With » Poetry

I happened to be glancing through Adrian Mitchell’s Heart on the Left
this morning (as you do) and rediscovered the poem ‘My Shy Di in Newspaperland’, in which he took lines and headlines from the press coverage of Charles and Diana’s engagement in 1980 and turned them into a poem. Having many better things to do this morning, but in need of an excuse to defer them, I thought I’d try the same with a different public figure in today’s news, and see what the result was.

(Each line is taken whole from media coverage of the event – thank you Google News – and the link in the first word of each line will take you to the story it came from)

Relaying their personal thoughts

Surely the most well-connected woman in the country
Had not predicted the Paulsgrove riots
She said “persuasion” was more accurate
She believed a donation was made

Messages sent by the aides of politicians, but relaying their personal thoughts

It is at least surprising that any one person could be cosy with them all
It was a question she raised herself
I happened to relate this gem to a reporter from the Daily Mail
She considered Mr Blair a friend

Messages sent by the aides of politicians, but relaying their personal thoughts

On occasion and not very often
They went sour after The Sun switched
Tended to look like she was going to the office party
Hardly the incendiary display that many observers had anticipated

Messages sent by the aides of politicians, but relaying their personal thoughts

Those who feel she is in no place to complain
This is the list submitted to the inquiry
Number 10 Downing Street, from Number 11, the Office of the Treasury, from the Home Office, from the Foreign Office
Who she said was not at the dinner

Messages sent by the aides of politicians, but relaying their personal thoughts

,

Peter Porter

The poet Peter Porter has died. He was one of the firs poets I can remember studying in any depth at school, especially Your Attention Please.

Some of us may die.
Remember, statistically
It is not likely to be you.

I can also recommend Mort Aux Chats, probably best read in a voice that sounds somewhat like Nick Griffin.

, , ,

I’ve been messing around with writing poetry recently, and my thoughts went back to those glorious days of yore when artists didn’t have to worry about pleasing the masses. All they sought to do was win the attention of a single wealthy patron, who would shower them with sufficient coin to ensure they could continue to produce their art with only the occasional diversion into hagiography of the patron or their family.

With that in mind, I decided it was time to demonstrate my hagiographical skills, but who should be the lucky recipient? Then, I caught sight of someone who had risen to a position of power with all the skill of a Renaissance Venetian and seemed to be be in possession of great wealth, such that writing cheques for five-figure sums was something she could do without a pause for thought.

So, beneath the cut, please find my tribute to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. I happily accept cheques or cash, and can probably arrange something through PayPal for credit cards.

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