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Thread: TS Elliot, Another BBC poll

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    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    TS Elliot, Another BBC poll

    TS Elliot is Britains favourite poet. He just pipped Wilfred Owen in a BBC poll.

    I'm not sure of the breadth of the poll, there was a shortlist and it was internet only. I must say I knew nothing about it until the result was announced this morning on the radio.

    But TS Elliot! who would've thought? Are the great unwashed avidly reading The Wasteland, or did they vote for Old Possum?

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    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    Actually, Owen came fourth. John Donne, quiet rightly, was in second, and for some unknown reason Benjamin Zephaniah still maintains enough popularity to come third.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/poetryseason/vote_results.shtml

    I'm quiet happy with Eliot as a winner (though according to the radio this morning he only beat Donne by about 25 votes) - The Wasteland is one of my favourite pieces; also, Possum's Book of Practical Cats means that he also has an appeal to younger readers.

    I'm kind of surprised that Wordsworth didn't make the final cut though...
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

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    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Thanks Lokasenna I completely missed the details, but heard that Owen was leading throughout the summer.

    Happy Poetry Day by the way.

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    Oh I voted on this, but I've forgotten who, (I'll have to look back, as I voted for a few), but I'm surprised at Eliot winning. Are we sure JBI hasn't managed to send a few extra (thousand) votes his way ? Perhaps it is all those Cat loving readers, one of whom, coincidentally, was reading Macavity to me only yesterday....spooky.

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    Who are the great unwashed? Do you mean 'most people'? If so that metaphor is rather old. With modern plumbing, house renovation programmes, and soap adverts dominating the media, shouldn't it now be 'the too well washed'?

    They said, on the Today programme, that 18 000 people voted over several months. That isn't very many people. Perhaps the only people who bothered to vote were experts on modernism. They also said that 58% of primary school teachers couldn't name two poets.

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Was Shakespeare in the poll?
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Ghost in the Machine Michael T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    They also said that 58% of primary school teachers couldn't name two poets.
    That’s both shocking and heartbreaking if it’s true. I would have expected 58% of the primary school pupils to be able to name two poets by the age of eleven…let alone the teachers!

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    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael T View Post
    That’s both shocking and heartbreaking if it’s true. I would have expected 58% of the primary school pupils to be able to name two poets by the age of eleven…let alone the teachers!
    And yet the government is constantly telling us that British education is improving.

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    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Was Shakespeare in the poll?
    Alas, no. Still, I suppose he would have dominated, simply because everyone has heard of him.
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

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    Ditsy Pixie Niamh's Avatar
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    TS Elliot? now that is a surprise!
    and that is a shocking statistic.
    "Come away O human child!To the waters of the wild, With a faery hand in hand, For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand."
    W.B.Yeats

    "If it looks like a Dwarf and smells like a Dwarf, then it's probably a Dwarf (or a latrine wearing dungarees)"
    Artemins Fowl and the Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer


    my poems-please comment Forum Rules

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael T View Post
    That’s both shocking and heartbreaking if it’s true. I would have expected 58% of the primary school pupils to be able to name two poets by the age of eleven…let alone the teachers!
    Oops sorry!

    I should know better than to quote the BBC Today programme without doing backup research. Here's a quote from a primary source ('scuse pun...):

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    How well do teachers know children's literature?

    The teachers participating in the survey were invited to name six 'good' children's authors, six good poets... The research team clarified for the respondents that by 'good' they meant both valuable for children and useful for teaching and learning in the primary classroom.

    ...

    When asked to name six children's poets, most teachers (58%) could only name one or two; 22% did not name any and only 10% of primary teachers came up with six names. M. Rosen, A. Ahlberg, R. McGough, R.Dahl and S. Milligan were the poets mentioned most often.

    ...

    The analysis of the teachers' responses allowed the researchers to conclude that the breadth of their knowledge was limited and they drew on a narrow range of sources to use in the classroom.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/res...rinterfriendly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Was Shakespeare in the poll?
    Here's the list Virgil.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/apps/ifl/poetryseason/captcha

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wessexgirl View Post
    Thank you wessex. What a silly list to choose from. Sylvia Plath is not British and neither is W.B. Yeats or Heaney. And frankly even Eliot was originally an American and to my ear sounds more American than British. And without Shakespeare, Keats, or Shelly, or even Chaucer included, this poll is downright dumb.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Thank you wessex. What a silly list to choose from. Sylvia Plath is not British and neither is W.B. Yeats or Heaney. And frankly even Eliot was originally an American and to my ear sounds more American than British. And without Shakespeare, Keats, or Shelly, or even Chaucer included, this poll is downright dumb.
    I think the idea was to find the British people's favourite poet, even if that individual wasn't actually British.

    Although the vast majority of Shakespeare's plays are written in verse, and although he has a massive body of stand-alone poetry, the public conciousness just doesn't seem to see him as a poet, just a playwright, as if they were mutually exclusive.

    Keats is on the list (I would have been very surprised if he wasn't!), but yes, there are some odd missing figures. I suppose with Shelley they might have thought that Keats, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Byron were enough - they probably didn't want to over-represent the Romantics. Chaucer, Spenser, Barrett-Browning, Pope, Swift... the list of people that should have been on there is pretty big...
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks Loka.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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