April 18, 2021 5:32:49 pm
Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has written a poem on the event of Prince Philip’s death. A report in The Guardian stated that the playwright steered clear from sycophancy as the Prince hated that. “I didn’t want to write anything that would have sounded sycophantic in his ears,” he was quoted as saying.
Titled The Patriarchs – An Elegy, the poem was published at the duke’s funeral for the first time. The heartfelt poem centers on Prince Philip but the poet then elaborates to eulogise the loss of an entire generation.
“I’ve written about a dozen laureate poems since I was appointed, but this is the first royal occasion and it feels like a big one. I remember when I was appointed, there were conversations along the lines of ‘there are likely to be significant events during your tenure’ – this was probably one of the events they speculated about,” he was quoted as saying in the report..
“I didn’t want to presume to write a personal poem about somebody I didn’t know, so I took cues from various interesting facts about his life, and thinking of him as the last in that generation of patriarchs. So there are a lot of details in the poem which are directly about him, but I tried to broaden the point out into a generational one,” he added.
Simon Armitage has managed to have his poetic cake and eat it – do his poet laureate job and write a royal elegy but it isn’t really, it stands alone as a beautiful lament to a generation. pic.twitter.com/t9GgddKKWw
— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) April 17, 2021
“I think they have a slightly different tone, in as much as I understand that the audience is going to be different. When you publish books of poems you are, to some extent, writing for a specialised audience, whereas laureate poems come before readers who are not used to poetry. Mainly, I’ve tried to avoid pomposity,” he was quoted saying, while commenting on the differing styles he adopts in keeping with different occasions.
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