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'A pomposity and a preciousness'

16 February 2004

'Very occasionally I become aware of a pomposity and a preciousness associated with poetry, and that some people in the poetry world are trying to protect something they see as very, very pure. And occasionally that makes me want to do something very, very dirty, like get up and read something that sounds like a song, or do something that might appeal to a wide number of people. It's probably something too about my background, about growing up in a culture of people telling stories, telling jokes, singing songs and sharing the talent they've got with as wide an audience as possible. It's just a natural consequence of who I am and where I've been brought up. It's not a career choice. I don't think I could do it any other way.'

Simon Armitage talking to Tom Payne in the Daily Telegraph