I have little success getting my poor letters published in the Irish Times, so I have decided to publish it here in toto. It comprises a response to a throwaway comment regarding the responsibility of poets during this post Mythical-Celtic Tiger era.
Re : ‘From the Poetic to the Prosaic’ 20/08/2010
This comment from the letter entitled “from the Poetic to the Prosaic” ( Friday August 20th 2010) is quite clearly woefully misguided; ” The role of poets should be respected, but the attempts of politicians to root out the rot and restore order in the State are equally worthy.”
Whilst Poets may be accused historically of being ‘Love-Trips’; and subject to the vagaries of the Taoiseach’s speech-writer , they quite clearly have not beggared the country.
It’s not funny that the Taoiseach would have recourse to writers to disentangle us from this mess.
It is , however, quite hilarious that the very people who have taken the brunt of Fianna Fáil arts policy and cuts would want to extol the virtues of the mythical Celtic Tiger era, in its scenes of cultural devastation from Tara, through cutting to ‘zero’ funds to two of our three major writer’s centres ! ( 0 funds)
Maybe Mr Cowen could ask elsewhere for the extolling of Irish Art. I suggest that he start with the Ahern Family who are getting the tax breaks and are considered to be ‘Artists’ in this benighted state.
your’s etcetera (letter ends)
I reckon that O Donoghue’s 2003 Arts Act is responsible for Taoisigh going where angels fear to tread myself. The Arts should be as independent as possible from the operations of the State- that does not prevent the writer/poet/satirist from commenting on Blasphemy, cultural destruction or the fact that an ex-Taoiseach and his family member are getting tax breaks under the artist’s exemption scheme.
Since new artists have been created under this government, I think that they should be the ones singing the praises of Ireland abroad, even if one of the books was allegedly ghost-written.