Wet blankets need not apply

I was watching Andrew Motion struggling in Jamie’s Dream School last night as he tried to get a group of teenagers to engage with their first poetry class. Probably unsympathetically edited, he was shouting within minutes.

First mistake – he tried to get them to engage with an Edward Hopper image: a woman staring out of a window… Perhaps it’s an image that interests him. The kids were entirely uninterested; I know a bit about the artist, but I am with the kids. I should have been sympathetic to Motion’s plight having been faced with a barrage of sullen faces and crossed arms in my own Monday night class when we looked at some poetry, but I was not.

He was just too, well too wet blanketish, shuffling around in his quiet way.

I know only too well it’s not easy. It must be even harder with a camera there to record every moment of your dying on your feet. And of course he only had two hour long sessions – a ridiculously short time to do anything at all.

My top tip would have been to have chosen one of Edward Hopper’s other women looking out of a window (there are plenty, all based on his wife). One like this.


The shoes, the women, the windows, the staring – they all get right on my tits.

Posted on March 24, 2011, in Art, Be not idle, Children, Poetry, Television and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. he does have a sweet manner though:
    those kids are all screensluts, playing up to the camera & loving the sound of their own microphoned voices:
    it’s like watching BB with learning:
    as usual the gobby ones get the attention while the quiet ones are overlooked:

  2. I missed it last night. Will have to watch online or replay. Why would a poet teaching poetry choose a picture to teach poetry. Poetry is using words to paint pictures (and feelings and more). Cop out.

  3. because the latin teacher used a picture of Beckham to teach latin:

  4. He has a lovely voice, for which I will forgive him much. But an old hand would tell him that even 1 hour is an hour too long with such inappropriate material.

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