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Monday, 12 December 2011

Making a Stand

T.S. Eliot
Prize for Poetry
is supported
by a hedge fund –
that’s a bit prickly,
a bit pear shaped,
a bit suspect
for an anti-capitalist.

John Kinsella
makes a stand
on the pointy end
of capitalism.

I withdraw my nomination,
he shouts, then jumps
with a dramatic flourish.

It began with Alice Oswald  -
poetry should be questioning
not endorsing such institutions.

The Government
is pulling the funds,
left, right and centre.
What’s a poor
Poetry Book Society
to do?

Where do you find
that stream of purest money
to finance the arts?

No-one has an answer
but making headlines -
must be good
for poets and poetry;

another layer in the
proof of existence.

© Gabrielle Bryden

We shouldn't forget that TS Eliot was a banker
Gabrielle Bryden is an Australian poet published in a range of books, print and online journals and on ABC National radio. She blogs at http://gabriellebryden.wordpress.com and tweets as GabrielleBryden.


  1. Is it nota hge blessing--to live in a country, where I can write--or not, and NOBODY can tell me what to write, how to vote, what to think, what business to pursue. thank God that Alice Oswald is NOT "Director of Poetry" for this country (U.S.) or any other.

    Poets, and poetry should be free, set free to sing the music of words about any, and every...thing!


  2. hahahaha - I am glad there is no such thing as director of poetry in my country - I agree, that poets and poetry should be free :)

  3. I love all the jabs in this, Gabe, and the comment on TS Eliot at the end.

    I applaud both Alice Oswald and John Kinsella for standing up for what they believe in, but we all decry/believe in different things, so I doubt this particular aspect would worry all nominees

  4. Gabrielle Bryden taking it to the streets, sticking it to the man. That's why I love you, Gabe.

    I like it when poets and writers make a stand. It's very important to stand by what you believe in. And the fact that TS Eliot was a banker gives me hope that not everyone involved in that profession is an Orwellian-style drone.


  5. Bluebee - thanks for your comment, and you are right that we all have different things to make a stand on - the comment at the end is actually a link to the news story that prompted the poem (it's not my line) :)

  6. Selma :) thanks! I love it when poets make any sort of commotion as it brings some life to the party (I especially like it when there are virtual fisticuffs - haha). Power to the Poets!