Recent reading of Steve Ely, Geoffrey Hill and Basil Bunting have made me think about the male perspective in poetry and about how different aspects of masculinity are represented in contemporary poetry by men. I don’t think poetry can be gender neutral, no matter how generous, inclusive or aware of the other the poet attempts to be. Nor do I think gender can be seen as binary; there must be as many versions of gender in poems as there are in the people who write them. Nevertheless, there are certain traits in poetry, as in life, which are traditionally regarded as masculine, and may include attitudes to violence and sexuality as well as specific ways of using language.
- Simon Armitage
I used to be very bothered by Simon Armitage. Is it time I changed my mind?
Some years ago, when I was a teacher, I…
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