26.11.2008 07:23 - Poet Laureate
Can you imagine a more useless job than Poet Laureate? A job writing verse about the Royal Family official events: poetry that will never be read. I mean: It must be a hard job. How many rhymes can you come up with for "inbred unelected spongers"?
The reward for your efforts? Seventy-two quid and the occasional bottle of booze. It shows the Royal Family attitude to poets, doesn't it? You can just imagine Prince Philip saying "I say. You. Poet Chappie. Shake yerself out of your drunken stupor and write a bit of poetry for the Memsahib's birthday card, will you? There's a bob or two and a bottle of brandy in it for you." It's hardly surprising that Ted Hughes's first lines on the birth of prince Harry were a load of steaming bollocks, isn't it?
Just as well he wrote "The Iron Man". I reckon that was a bit of a pension.
Let's face it, all you have to do to be poet laureate is to be able to write a bit of verse on a recent "official" happening. Not hard. It's not as if it has to be good.
For example, "Oh dearest Elizabeth Queen, the second Queen Elizabeth who has ever been, Whenever you sit upon the throne, your queenly burden to atone, do you often feel alone?" - that's worth a snifter of Aldi port. And, of course, the job's not every day, and you don't have to document all the unfortunate "unofficial" stuff.
Come to think of it, that would be a good idea. A Poet Anti-Laureate, who writes about the stuff they'd rather hush up :
Prince Phillip thinks that Foreigners
are not very nice
Prince Philip told a chinaman
that he had slitty eyes
Prince Phillip told a lesbian
he thought she was a freak
That's a little ironic
Coming from a former Greek.