Tag Archives: English poetry

Cultural Vandalism

The Irish Times reports that the Oxford, Cambridge and the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) exam board has removed the Irish poet Seamus Heaney from it’s exam syllabus along with other writers from Ireland. In addition, the English poet Wilfred Owen’s Anthem for Doomed Youth and Philip Larkin’s An Arundel Tomb have been removed, as have works by other English poets including William Blake.

The OCR’s Chief Executive Jill Duffy states the reason for the changes is to “reflect diversity and inclusivity not just in our qualifications, but in the material we produce to support their delivery, as well as in the assessment of our qualifications”.

I have for years laboured under the misapprehension that the purpose of the subject of English literature is to teach students about the best of our literary cannon. It never crossed my mind that it’s purpose is to enhance “diversity and inclusivity”. Henceforth I shall read books with these aims in mind, rather than with the aim of furthering my appreciation of the richness of English literature.

Of course, works of literature do engage with social issues. For example Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird addresses the iniquity of racism in the southern United States. However, Lee’s work has been studied because it is a great work of literature that deals with racism, not because it promotes “inclusivity and diversity”, although, of course a side effect of reading To Kill a Mocking Bird may well be to kindle in it’s readers a feeling for the deep injustice of the racial prejudice in the American south.

Larkin’s An Arundel Tomb and Owen’s Anthem for Doomed Youth are both fine poems. I remember studying the latter whilst at school and coming across the former some years later. To drop Larkin, Heaney and Owen seems perverse and retrograde. Larkin and Owen are, in particular integral to the cultural fabric of the British aisles and I have sympathy for the Education Secretary’s description of the dropping of these poets as “cultural vandalism”.

You can read the article in the Irish Times Here https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/2022/07/02/irish-writers-dropped-from-uk-school-curriculum-in-move-to-increase-diversity/. Larkin’s An Arundel Tomb is available on the Poetry Foundation’s website here https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47594/an-arundel-tomb. Wilfred Owen’s Anthem for Doomed Youth is also available on the Poetry Foundation’s website and can be found here https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47393/anthem-for-doomed-youth. For information on Seamus Heaney please see the Poetry Foundation’s website here https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/seamus-heaney.

As always I would be interested in the views of my readers.

A Shiver, a Sigh, a Smile: Audrey Driscoll’s Review of Leaving and Other Poems by K Morris

I was delighted to receive a 4 star review of my recently published collection Leaving and Other Poems:

“Morris has a knack for creating vivid pictures with few words. “The Lighted Department Store” is a perfect example. Reading it, I saw the cheerful lights of store and pub, I heard the shouts of drinkers and the clink of glasses, but at the end, I was reminded, comes darkness and silence.

The brevity and conciseness of these poems make this book perfect for readers looking for philosophical glimpses into life.”

To read the review in full please visit https://www.amazon.ca/review/R3VGH3XMT6BHPE/.
To read a sample or purchase Leaving and Other Poems please visit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09R8NG6WQ/

A Guest Post and a Review of The Further Selected Poems of K Morris

My thanks to Robbie Cheadle for reading and reviewing Leaving and Other Poems. You can find the review together with a poem from my recently published Leaving and Other Poems here, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2022/01/30/robbies-inspiration-guest-post-poet-kevin-morris-and-a-review/.

Leaving and Other Poems is Available in Paperback and Kindle

Yesterday (26 January) I announced that my poetry collection, Leaving and Other Poems is available in the Amazon Kindle store, https://kmorrispoet.com/2022/01/26/my-new-poetry-collection-leaving-and-other-poems-is-now-available-in-the-amazon-kindle-store/

I am pleased to announce that Leaving and Other Poems is now available as a paperback and can be found here, https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09R3HR9KG/ (for the UK), and here, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09R3HR9KG/
(for the US and elsewhere).

My New Poetry Collection “Leaving and Other Poems” is Now Available in the Amazon Kindle Store

I am delighted to announce that my poetry collection Leaving and Other Poems is now available in the Amazon Kindle store.

For the UK please follow this link,

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09R8NG6WQ/

for elsewhere in the world please click here,

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09R8NG6WQ/

Book Description

A collection of poems touching on the brevity of life, and the ever-present figure of Old Father Time. Also, sprinkled throughout are a number of humorous verses, some of which may remind the reader of Edward Lear.

Paperback

Leaving and Other Poems will also be available in paperback. Once the paperback edition is available, I will post links to it here.