Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The establishment?

6 a (the establishment) n. the group in a society exercising authority or influence, and seen as resisting change. b any influential or controlling group (the literary establishment).

It seems easy to argue that the University of Oxford represents the establishment, but what about the election of Simon Armitage as its Professor of Poetry? Do the voters themselves necessarily form part of the establishment by virtue of having studied in Oxford in the past? Why did they choose Armitage?

And then there's the poetry establishment. If such a phenomenon exists, is it represented more by Armitage or by Geoffrey Hill, his predecessor in the role?

1 comment:

  1. Dear Matthew

    I voted for Simon Armitage because I genuinely believed that he was the best candidate available. To me an 'establishment' is a clique or cabal of powerful and influential people who are fawning to insiders and vile to outsiders. The British Poetry Establishment is a perfect example of this.

    Best wishes from Simon R. Gladdish