“If everybody’s reading poetry, it’s probably not doing its job. I don’t think it can or ever should be a frontline, popular art form. If it was, I wouldn’t be interested in it. The poetry I will always like sounds like a version of people talking, or singing, or praying. I’ve always thought of it as alternative, not a mainstream activity: a kind of refuge. It’s never been the new rock ‘n’ roll, or the new stand-up comedy or whatever else it’s supposed to have been. It’s still an art form of dissent – to the extent that it even refuses to get to the end of the page. It’s unbiddable!”
Simon Armitage is an English poet.
Quoted in Financial Times Weekend print edition March 18/19 2017, Literary Life, by Suzi Feay.
Photo credit: By Alexander Williamson [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 )], via Wikimedia Commons
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