Sarah Lyall wrote in The New York Instances earlier than Mr. Movement’s appointment: “Though the job has been crammed over time by a few of Britain’s poetic heavyweights, together with Ben Jonson, who held the publish unofficially, in addition to Dryden, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Cecil Day-Lewis and John Betjeman, it has hardly ever impressed their finest work.”
Ms. Lyall quoted a infamous couplet attributed to Alfred Austin, poet laureate within the late 19th century, in regards to the sickness of the period’s Prince of Wales:
Throughout the wires the electrical message got here
“He’s no higher, he’s a lot the identical.”
These reported to have been supplied and refused the position over its lengthy historical past embody Walter Scott and Philip Larkin.
As for Ms. Dharker, she was quoted in The Guardian as saying, “I needed to weigh the privateness I want to jot down poems in opposition to the calls for of a public position. The poems gained.”
She added, “It was an enormous honor to be thought-about for the position of poet laureate and I’ve been overwhelmed by the messages of assist and encouragement from all around the world.”
Different contenders had dominated themselves out extra starkly. The dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah, talked about as a doable laureate as way back as 1998, tweeted final yr: “I’ve completely little interest in this job. I gained’t work for them. They oppress me, they upset me, and they don’t seem to be worthy. I write to attach with folks and have by no means felt the necessity to go by way of the church, the state, or the monarchy to achieve my folks. No cash. Freedom or dying.”
Mr. Armitage, nevertheless, has made a case for the facility of the laureateship. In November, when the tradition division introduced that it had appointed a steering group of librarians and humanities officers to assist choose a brand new laureate, he printed an opinion article in The Guardian setting out necessities for the place.