Friday, 11 July 2008

The monitorial Poetry Society

The Poetry Society's latest e-mail brings news of an annual competition. Poets are asked pretty please to state their age and ethnic background on the entry form. These details are required for monitoring purposes prospective entrants are informed.
Monitoring according to the first dictionary to hand on the Poet-in-Residence Schreibtisch is defined thus: to observe, inspect, listen to, or record esp for a special purpose over a period of time.
Now where have we encountered that modus operandi before? Check out the Gwilym Williams poem On the Feldherrenhalle Steps if you need a large clue. You can find this fine poem at The Recusant website (click on P-i-R's alphabetical sidebar).
So what's really going on? What is Poetry Police HQ really after here? Since when has a poet's ethnic background, whatever that means, been of interest to a poetry competition organizer apart from the award of the bardic chair at the National Eisteddfod in Cymru?
Poet-in-Residence's poetical ethnic background is, for the purposes of the Poetry Police's comprehensive computer records, human being. His age is on the wrong side of 60. He considers that age and roots might be important in village hall horticulture contests.


  1. outrageous .. I just had a look at the Poetry Society's form... how dare they?!

  2. and wordcrafter to your Q. ' dare they?!' may we add the Q. '...why dare they?'


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