Friday, 12 October 2012


I noticed on Twitter earlier today that this weekend's Independent On Sunday is running a rare full interview with Tony Harrison, marking 25 years since its sister paper The Independent published his poem V. in full.

I can remember the furore that surrounded the poem at the time, with Tory MPs queuing up to condemn it and the plans to screen a film version of it on Channel 4. The reason was the 'obscene language' used, with the protestors predictably missing the point of the poem (if they'd read it in the first place, that is). One MP, Gerald Howarth, said Harrison was "probably another bolshie poet wishing to impose his frustrations on the rest of us", to which Harrison's retort was that Howarth was "probably another idiot MP wishing to impose his intellectual limitations on the rest of us". 

Anyway, I'm not a huge Harrison fan, but the stir that this poem caused helped kindle my interest in poetry at the time, so I'll look forward to reading the interview.

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