Friday, September 08, 2006

Pam Ayres interview

In The Daily Telegraph, Cassandra Jardine talks to poet Pam Ayres.
Ever since she became famous, aged 27, for winning Opportunity Knocks in 1975, she has had plenty of detractors.

They call her the doyenne of doggerel, they mock her hayseed Oxfordshire accent with its long flat vowels, they parody her verses with their "ohs" and "ahs" and "mes", but often they miss the point.

Her verse can sometimes seem a trifle tame but, at her best, she is observant, lightly mocking, gently thought-provoking and never heavy or difficult.

Surgically Enhanced, the title poem from her new anthology, is one of her best.

"I stand before the mirror and I feel my spirits sink," it begins.

"I'm so bored with this old body, it's so normal, round and pink,

It hasn't got the shingles nor a heavy chesty cough,

But it needs a few adjustments; a few sections slicing off . . ."

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