Something incredible happened today: the Twitterati – used to passing mob justice on telly, celebs and politics – turned their attention to poetry. More specifically a poem in the London Review of Books by Craig Raine.
How Mr S’s heart leapt as he saw Raine’s name trending up there with Andy Coulson and #NationalRunningDay, could it be that an English poet was proving more popular than the Kardashians?
Alas not. There had not been a significant boost in the cultural tastes of the keyboard warriors. Instead they were raging after poetry critic Charles Whalley tweeted Raine’s poem ‘Gatwick’, describing it as ‘grim’. The poem describes his attraction to a young woman. It includes the line ‘I want to say I like your big bust’:
i am ready to fight craig raine pic.twitter.com/obMpVhMZhQ
— crispin best (@crispinbest) June 3, 2015
While Mr S is yet to hear back from Whalley as to whether it was the poem’s content or overall quality that gave him cause for complaint, the usual suspects have declared it evil that an artist has dared to challenge the views of the public:
And in rhyme: Raine, Raine, Go Away, Creep us out another day. That’s just one thought; here’s another: Aren’t you older than her mother?
— Ellie Cumbo (@EllieCumbo) June 3, 2015
OH MY GOD CRAIG RAINE
— Sarah Ditum (@sarahditum) June 3, 2015
Man alive, I have just seen that Craig Raine poem. Why oh why do people think middle aged men into literature can sound creepy, eh? — Jem Bloomfield (@jembloomfield) June 3, 2015
To be fair to Craig Raine/ most poetry’s about perving/The trick is not not make it sound/ so unnerving
— Padraig Reidy (@mePadraigReidy) June 3, 2015
Mr S would suggest these delicate flowers avoid Raine’s earlier and more explicit work. Especially the one about sodomy. It might break the internet otherwise!