I'm not familiar enough with Duffy's oeurve to either agree or disagree with Hill's assessment of her work in general, but I must say that his willingness to attack it detracts from what is otherwise a legitimate arguement against texting as poetry. No, text is not poetry, though its "truncated" language might be employed in a poem since it is an undeniable part of modern living. Still, this employment must be carefully done. And I agree with him that poets should assume that their readers are intelligent. So much of media and art today dumbs down the individual and we all know that when one is told something (or suggested something) often and long enough one may well come to believe it whether it is truth or not. Examples: that the evolution theory is fact, or an abusive person's claim that one is worthless. Compare the everyday vocabulary of the public today to that of Dicken's time, and you see the long-term effect of this culture of dumbing-down. Poetry has held out against this destructive force longer than any other form of communication, but it too is faltering. Let us not allow it. Let us stand firm. We are the poets. It is our responsibility to protect poetry from this tendancy to abuse the reader and individual, and that responsibility can be no one else's.
Article that inspired this little rant: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/31/carol-ann-duffy-oxford-professory-poetry?newsfeed=true
The Flood, Then and Now
3 weeks ago