Yes, of course I watched Nick Griffin on Question Time last night. But before that I went to Josephine Hart's Poetry Hour at the Royal Society, as part of the British Academy Literature Week. Kenneth Cranham, Charles Dance and Elizabeth McGovern read poetry by T.S. Eliot, Robert Browning, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, Philip Larkin, Kipling and Robert Frost. It was wonderful.
One of my favourite poems last night was The Applicant by Sylvia Plath. I must have read it at some time as I used to have a copy of SP's complete works, though I gave it to a boyfriend one night after he had stayed over; a kind of payment, you could say. He refers to it whenever I see him (not often, thankfully) so perhaps he's unused to receiving an honorarium after an evening's entertainment.
I always wish I'd had a better education and try to take heed of the maxim that it's better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no-one in any doubt. So when the woman sitting next to me in the audience said she loved T.S. Eliot, it's unfortunate that the only contribution I felt able to make on the subject was to direct her to the Lolcat translation of The Waste Land. Unsurprisingly, she hadn't heard of it. Hopefully the beauty and power of the readings last night will have wiped my suggestion from her mind, though I gave a thorough explanation, 'You mean you haven't heard of I can has cheezburger?' and spelled it out for her: L O L C A T.
Then I came home and got drunk and watched Question Time. It's a shame that they have to put a racist homophobe on the telly to get the nation to sit down and watch a current affairs programme. But it was lovely to feel that all of us watching the show were united in our disgust, though a friend on Twitter reports that someone on The Wright Show today said that Griffin was 'like Joan of Arc'; an intriguing comparison.