George Szirtes: “Jeremy Paxman doesn’t see that poetry is felt, not fathomed”

This is an interesting response to Paxman, and I love the ending:

Eliot thought poetry in his time had to be difficult, and indeed he can be difficult if you try to read him as though he had written prose. Read him as voices echoing between speakers and events in time, and you enter a world as real as that in which we actually live. He was a major poet, as was WH Auden. Neither was necessarily easy listening for the People.

The committee would have had no time for either of them. But committees are like that. Poetry is treated as a problem by them, whereas it is a sea into which you dive.

George Szirtes


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