British poet laureate pens ode to gas meters

2016-04-19 20:02


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Britain's poet laureate is working on a new poem - about the demise of traditional gas and electricity meters.

Carol Ann Duffy admitted the work marking the government's decision to fit all British homes and small businesses with smart meters by 2020, was "one of my most unusual projects".

"Gas and electricity meters have been a fixture under stairs and in cupboards for more than a hundred years so it felt fitting to preserve their place in household history with a poem," the Glasgow-born writer said.

"It is definitely one of my most unusual projects, but hopefully I'm able to produce a piece that captures the last whirs of these spinning machines before they make way for their digital counterparts."

Last year, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra addressed the same subject with a recording of A Requiem For Meters, a three-minute piece played entirely on instruments made from old gas and electricity meters.

But some Britons were baffled by Duffy's fixation with the humble gas meter at a time when Queen Elizabeth II - who named her to the ten-year honorary post of poet laureate in 2009 - is preparing to mark her 90th birthday on Thursday.

Royalists questioned why Duffy was not penning a poem for the monarch instead.

"She is the poet laureate, she certainly should be knocking out a poem," Ingrid Seward, royal biographer and editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, told The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"I think the queen herself will not mind, but the people around her would think that's a bit of an insult," Seward said.

Duffy wrote a poem for the 2011 wedding of the monarch's grandson Prince William and for the 60th anniversary of the queen's coronation in 2013.

But she has also taken inspiration from subjects as diverse as England footballer David Beckham and the scandal over British lawmakers' parliamentary expenses.

Read more on:    uk

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.