Monday, 22 September 2008

WARNING!- Banned Poem!

Education for Leisure

Today I am going to kill something. Anything.
I have had enough of being ignored and today
I am going to play God. It is an ordinary day,
a sort of grey with boredom stirring in the streets
I squash a fly against the window with my thumb.
We did that at school. Shakespeare. It was in
another language and now the fly is in another language.
I breathe out talent on the glass to write my name.
I am a genius. I could be anything at all, with half
the chance. But today I am going to change the world.
Something’s world. The cat avoids me. The cat
knows I am a genius, and has hidden itself.
I pour the goldfish down the bog. I pull the chain.
I see that it is good. The budgie is panicking.
Once a fortnight, I walk the two miles into town
For signing on. They don’t appreciate my autograph.
There is nothing left to kill. I dial the radio
and tell the man he’s talking to a superstar.
He cuts me off. I get our bread-knife and go out.
The pavements glitter suddenly. I touch your arm.

Carol Ann Duffy

This poem was banned by an examination board in England, after three complaints.

"A spokeswoman for AQA confirmed there had been three complaints, two referring to knife crime and a third about the description of a goldfish being flushed down the toilet. The first complaint about knives was made in 2004. The second, made in the summer by an exams officer, was then taken up by an MP.

The most recent complaint was made by Lutterworth grammar school’s exams invigilator, Pat Schofield, who welcomed the board’s decision and said: “I think it is absolutely horrendous - what sort of message is that to give to kids who are reading it as part of their GCSE syllabus?”

The AQA spokeswoman said: “The decision to withdraw the poem was not taken lightly and only after due consideration of the issues involved. We believe the decision underlines the often difficult balance that exists between encouraging and facilitating young people to think critically about difficult but important topics and the need to do this in a way which is sensitive to social issues and public concern.”

*(GCSE, "general certificate of secondary education, exams taken by 16 yr olds)

This sparked a fierce debate.... Okay, not much of a debate at all really. In Britain our kids are not very likely to decide to take a gun into school, although... in some inner city areas.. but, knives. Knives are in our minds following several fatal stabbings amongst school-age children-and not just the boys. So the subject is indeed delicate. I can, to some extent see the aforementioned Ms Schofield's point of view.
Should poems and other literature taught in school be devoid of violence for fear that pupils will copy?

The poet herself provides a balancing riposte.

Mrs Schofield's GCSE -by Carol Anne Duffy

You must prepare your bosom for his knife,

said Portia to Antonio in which

of Shakespeare's Comedies? Who killed his wife,

insane with jealousy? And which Scots witch

knew Something wicked this way comes? Who said

Is this a dagger which I see? Which Tragedy?

Whose blade was drawn which led to Tybalt's death?

To whom did dying Caesar say Et tu? And why?

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark - do you

know what this means? Explain how poetry

pursues the human like the smitten moon

above the weeping, laughing earth; how we

make prayers of it. Nothing will come of nothing:

speak again. Said by which King? You may begin.

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Which of these three is the donkey?

This appears on the Flickr stream of "Make Some Noise"

Beneath it are these words:

"Apparently you can´t take donkeys into the bus terminal! HAH! Karin and I just about peed ourselves laughing at this sign while we waited to head out to Incapirca. "

Help me out here. Which of the forbidden items imaged above is a donkey? My bet is on the middle one.... next to the cow.

Speaking as a donkey.............

kthnx bai!
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I'm trying to get posting again...but writing escapes me.

It's a strange thing. I can write in my head whilst I do other things, I can write whole blogpost length pieces as comments on other people's blogs (sorry), but then... I open up blogger in compose mode and somehow.................. derrrr......... um
blankness attacks me.

So that's why I'm posting other stuff I like. Like this.
Madrugada, "The Kids are on High Street".
This band is from Norway, the track is from their album "The Deep End".

I'd like comments, to see what you think.
The track is available on You-Tube. To my mind, the video detracts from the music, and spoils it. That is a common occurrence with music videos, they overlay some directors images. I'd say, close your eyes and listen, let your mind create its own images.
Then, to digress, as I always do, I'd like to say here "I Hate Disney".
I do.
Because Disney messes with the stories I grew up with, peoples them with disney characters, and soils them forever.
If Disney want to make movies, then let them write their own all new stories, leave the people out of books alone.
Winnie the Pooh, for example, the real Winnie, the book character, is NOTHING like the bumbling idiot portrayed by Disney. Um.. Okay.. Now I'm thinking of another post... Poetry next time.
Maybe some pictures?
We'll see. I might burn out first
Neil Young said "It's better to burn out than it is to fade away... "
Rust never sleeps.

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