Friday, April 01, 2011

New Poetry Anthology

Breaking News. The Government have announced that, as part of their ongoing commitment to literature and the arts, a new anthology called 'Undersize Sock Poems' has been produced for compulsory daily use in all schools and universities, featuring poetry written by current Cabinet ministers. Each poem is accompanied by a short paragraph of explanation. Kate Middleton writes in her specially commissioned introduction, “We want to get away from elitist poetry that only rich, privileged people – y’know, the corduroyed luvvies – can understand. We’ve included explanations so that no one, not even council house dwellers and other minority groups, will feel excluded.” According to a parliamentary spokesman, “Some of the poems are juvenilia, written as school assignments or, in Jeremy *unt’s case, when he was suffering from a curious bout of Reverse Tourette’s Syndrome, but others are far more recent and will shed light on how coalition brains work.”

Prime Minister David Cameron’s poem is called ‘Last Night I Dreamt that Somebody Loved Me’ and although all the words are the same as The Smiths’ song of the same name, the emphasis is different and ‘somebody’ is written (and sung on the accompanying DVD) in italics. “Basically, we all want poetry we can relate to and we can all replace that ‘somebody’ with our own name,” writes Cameron. “I want this anthology to be firmly democratic.”

Other ministers featured include Nick Clegg (‘Elegy for a Dead Duck’), Vince Cable (‘Would I Lie to You?’), Theresa May (‘God bless Theresa. She lived like a rat...’), Michael Gove (‘No Ideas About the Thing’), George Osborne (‘Send in the Clowns’) and Ian Duncan Smith (‘Why Should Not Old Men Be Mad?’).

Proceedings from the anthology will be split between two charities. A proportion of the money will fund a new scheme, at a cost of £120,000, to allow poets to say they are published by Faber when they are in fact posting work to an unsearchable page on the Internet, and the rest will commission some random lottery winner to write a poem titled ‘Kate and Wills from My Perspective’, which will be read on royal wedding day from an exclusive soapbox erected for the occasion at the top of Ben Nevis.