Up the arts

Pete Doherty 'Not Poet' claims authority

In a shocking statement made yesterday, a leading authority on modern poetry contradicted the popular view that Pete Doherty was a poet. Professor Christopher Notrix, of the University of Oxford, said that the lyrics of the pasty faced singer did not constitute poetry. ‘When we think of the criteria that makes a poet’, explained Professor Notrix, ‘in particular the Romantic poets that Mr. Doherty professes to draw influence from, we find that he fails to satisfy them. The main criteria for being a poet are, dying young, preferably from some kind of sexually transmitted disease or in a foreign battle. Currently Mr. Doherty is 27, which means he would have to do something pretty quickly if he wants to immortalise his words. Perhaps if Mr. Doherty was to for example, go to Iraq and pretend to be a cockney, or infect Kate Moss with syphilis, his words could be considered in a different light.’

Professor Notrix, who has authored a critical work on the words of Bob Dylan, explained the dangers present in the uncritical use of the title ‘poet.’ ‘It is very important that members of the general public are not hoodwinked by charlatan poets. I appreciate that tales of Mr. Doherty’s alleged debauchery in the tabloids may give some the impression that he is a tortured genius. However, I put it to you that excessive drug taking does not a genius make. Otherwise, we might as well go to the nearest tower block and ask anyone with track marks on their arms what they think of the world. In future, people should look to the guidance of people like myself, who are qualified to assess what is poetry.’ When it was pointed out that Bob Dylan was in his 60’s, and was still churning out music Professor Notrix replied testily, ‘Yes, yes, but then he doesn’t write a load of crap about ‘Albion’, does he?’

Stephen Fry in Musical Project

Meanwhile, Stephen Fry is reported to have been involved in scripting Kenneth Branagh’s production of the Magic Flute. The original German operatic score will be rewritten by Cambridge graduate Fry. Fry, who recently published a book on poetry controversially describing much modern poetry as ‘bottom dribble’, will be pushing poetic boundaries with this project, which he intends to write in rhyming couplet form, such as is to be found in the highly respected Rupert Bear Annuals.

Fry’s comedic talent will not be lost either, and his creative talents will be employed to good effect in making the Opera accessible and funny for a modern audience. In the new version of the Magic Flute, the Queen of the Night abducts Pamina, and spirits her away to the magical Blending Room, where she is fed nothing but Lapsang Souchang, and it is always winter and never Christmas. Fortunately, the foolish birdcatcher Wooster comes to her aid, heralding Mozart’s famous chorus,

‘We’ve nipped the Queen’s plans in the bud
So now lets go back home to Nutwood!’

‘Oh Wooster, that’s OK with me,
So long as there is no more tea!’