9 Dec 2009


It's Wednesday and we all know what that means - a visit to Cara over at Ooh ... Books! where her weekly meme FREEVERSE is proving ever-more popular.

But firstly, I'd like to share this newspaper article with you - all about using verse to market products, I thought it would fit in nicely.

ROBERT GRAVES, the war poet, once remarked "There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money either." Poverty has been a repeating motif for poets throughout the ages, but advertising has always been one possible source of income for the modern jobbing wordsmith.

Two prominent adverts, both of which lean heavily on the emotional appeal of poetry, are currently airing on our screens (at least here in England) - a David Morrisey narrated ad for McDonald's ("the Gothy types and scoffy types and like-their-coffee-frothy types were just passing by" - click HERE to view), and a Pete Postlewaite narrated ad for Cathedral City cheddar cheese ("On the A47 it's cheese with cucumber/It's lunchtime for her as the rest of us slumber" - click HERE to view).

In recent years we've also seen poems used to advertise the AA (a car breakdown assistance and insurance company), Waitrose (a supermarket), Center Parcs (a holiday company) and the Prudential (an insurance company). But what do poets feel about this unsteady dance with commercialism?

"It doesn't always please me," says Roger McGough, the Liverpudlian performance poet. "It's like when you hear music used in an advert and you feel it has degraded it. But as long as the poems are used respectfully I think it can be ok."

- An edited version of an article by Leo Hickman, reporting in the Guardian. (For full story click HERE.)

Now onto Poetry On The Metro and the final two poems in the series.

I twist and turn into the night
Uncertainly, I flap my wings
I see the world in black and white

A glowing bridge it lights the world
A river flowing to the sea
Black windows curving and bending

Tall black towers reach the sky
White eyed man watches over us
Watches over my city.

- Catherine, age 11.

We have
our very own
shimmering big glass slug
living on the banks of the Tyne

- Ryan, age 9.

I hope you have enjoyed all the poems in this series - don't we have some talented bairns (children) here in the North East of England? To view all of the poems again or to put a face to the name of our poets, click HERE.

See you all next week when I shall be bringing you some festive poetry.


Jenners said...

You do have very talented children over there ... I'm very impressed with what you've shared.

And I do think poetry has a place in advertising .. why not class it up and make it better and expose people to poetry that they might not otherwise hear? And if it gets some money to a poet, all the better!

themethatisme said...

McDonalds should be stricken from the face of the earth for this blasphemy, never mind the rubbish they sell.

Ryan aged 9, is a very perceptive yuong man.

chitra said...

Nice to see little ones coming out with good verses.

Dorte H said...

Yes, your children are very talented. It has been a pleasure to read their works.

Kelly said...

I'm sorry to see the Metro series come to an end. I've really enjoyed it!!

I'm a recent convert to poetry (within the last 10 years) and I'm glad to see it wherever it might reach people.

Middle Ditch said...

I love Ryan's little poem. No rhyme and short and simple. My husband would approve as he is an international poet himself and hates rhyming.

kiirstin said...

Oh yes, Ryan's poem is so lovely. Very nice! I'm sad to see this series end, but I'm looking forward to what you have in store for next week!

Poetry in advertising always makes me wince a bit, but I do find myself on the side of power (and money) to the poets.

Cara Powers said...

I love the newspaper article you included.

I don't understand Ryan's poem. Is he referring to a building?

....Petty Witter said...

CARA, Ryan is talking about The Sage in Gateshead, an arts venue, it is often described as looking like a large glass slug - I think I included a link to it in a previous Freeverse post.