Gaw, whispering from the labyrinthine depths of the NHS, approves my ferocious attack on the poets and urges me to go after the watercolourists next. The brush-wielding bastards have, he insists, had it coming for years.
Damn right they have. Ooh, look at me with my wooden bleedin’ palette, wearing my hat, mixing up a colour wash, perched by the riverbank on a bleedin’ deckchair with a sleeping Labrador tied to it, dab-dabbing away like a git, oooooh pardon me I’ve made a bugger’s muddle of the perspective of that barge, oooh never mind I’ll turn that smudge into a heron, just a bit of artistic license you understand, hope you’ll forgive it hem hem. Oh yeah? Well screw you, watercolourist *****ers!
And so on.
The anti-poetry rant has sloshed around the internet a bit, in the way that these things sometimes do, with visitors being unwittingly led here from Books Inq, the Poetry Foundation, this poetry site and, unexpectedly, this Dutch one. Oddly, not one visitor has yet leapt to the defence of the poets. But then it was a very good rant. Reading it back, it puts me in mind of an episode of Newsnight Review a few months ago, in which Joe Queenan had a proper pop at modern classical music when discussing Birtwhistle's Minotaur. I’ve skipped the beginning for you (Parsons and Myerson), but stick around for his punchline right at the end of the vid….