Motion's emotion

What a sad person Michael Glover must be ("Just the poet to make us yawn again", 24 May)! All he can find to say about Andrew Motion seems to be: "desperately tame", "smarmily safe" and "tired, old, masculine". We must presume that he has read Motion's poetry, but he quotes none as evidence of his assertions.

Instead we are told that Carol Ann Duffy and Ursula Fanthorpe are "marvellous lesbian poets". Why do we need to know their sexual preference? Is it not enough to know that he considers them marvellous poets?

I find Motion's poetry excellent: he writes with sensitivity and skill about emotions we all experience. Perhaps Glover's inability to appreciate Motion's poetry is Glover's problem, not Motion's.

Mark Layton

This article first appeared in the 31 May 1999 issue of the New Statesman, Between two mental universes