Monday, November 09, 2009

Andrew Motion defends "found poetry"

Andrew Motion has defended his new poem, An Equal Voice, against accusations of plagiarism. As Dominic Kennedy reports in The Times:
The former Poet Laureate yesterday insisted that his use of quotations that he discovered in a history book belonged to a noble tradition of “found poetry” dating back to Shakespeare.

But Ben Shephard, an expert who produced The World at War for television, complained that the poet had been “extracting sexy soundbites” from his painstaking work on military psychiatry.
You can read An Equal Voice on The Guardian website. Here's an extract:
There were some cases of nervous collapse

as the whistle blew on the first day of battle.

In general, however, it is perfectly astonishing

and terrifying how bravely the men fight.


  1. Anonymous5:12 pm

    Hmm. 'Found poetry' is all very well - unless you're the writer whose work has been ripped-off.

  2. Anonymous5:00 pm

    Depends where you "find it" -I've written poems that were prompted by letters or diary extracts etc. but I wouldn't rip off someone else's work - I've never even directly quoted without acknowleging the source - it's waht's called ethics !
    And comparing yourself to Shakespeare is to be honest, just arrogant. The extract's banal !


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