Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Next New Thing in Poetry?

Todd Swift makes some salient points about the state of poetry discussion in the UK on his blog Eyewear, in relation to the BBC 2 Newsnight media coverage of Daljit Nagra, whose first collection, Look We Have Coming To Dover!, (you can look and listen on Faber's site) is being published by Faber and Faber on 1st of February.

Todd describes how the panellists on the programme practically slavered and slobbered over the idea of a new poet that seemed 'different' to what had gone before, which begs the question where has poetry been for the last while? What about Seamus Heaney et al other events poetry-wise in the UK?

I'm not denigrating Daljit Nagra's collection - and neither is Mr Swift - it's more a lament for the inability of the general media to generate a wider debate that is based on what is good about contemporary poetry, raising contemporary poetry's profile, rather than seize upon the next-big-thing in poetry and worry it like a rottweiller with a particular juicy bone.

After all, juicy bones tend to either get crunched up to get at the marrow, or buried and possibly forgotten about, by those pesky 'meja dawgs'.

As for me, well, I guess I will be getting a copy of Daljit Nagra's first collection and see what all the fuss is about! ;)


Anonymous said...

I "saw" the next evolution of poetry - literally. Moving Poetry based on work of the masters - you can see it here:

see what you think

carole said...

Some excellent points from yourself and Mr Swift (good to visit another good 'poetry' blog. The contemporary poetry scene has been alive and well for some time. Like you I'm not denigrating Daljit Nagra's poems which I have yet to read.

Unknown said...

Wow, anonymous, I wish you'd left your name! How and ever, I've checked out the link you've left, for Four Seasons, and this is very exciting stuff indeed - talk abour taking it to another level! I had probs with the download speed, but apart from that it's very visual and aural.

Will blog this properly when I get back from Galway over the weekend!

Kay Cooke said...

Salient points, I understand what you are saying and agree 100.

Rob said...

I agree really, but it's all part of the marketing plan. I'm sure Faber partly took on Daljit Nagra's collection because it's very good. But I'm sure they also took it on because they reckoned they could shift some copies and get bigger publicity than normal for a poet.

It would be good in a way if the media took more interest in contemporary poetry, but if it took too much interest, poets would find themselves having to please the market far more than they do now.

I've only heard one Daljit Nagra poem. It was good and I'm looking forward to reading more.

Unknown said...

Well that's the thing isn't it Rob - we still have relative freedom in poetry to write for the sake of writing (nothwithstanding that it is good too), without worrying about pleasing markets.

Pam said...

I heard Daljit Nagra read tonight and bought his book. He's the real thing all right. He'd be the first to exhort the contemporary poetry scene, internationally, considering the range of his ownreading. He cites Heaney as a leading influence.