Never heard of it, so C.
Never heard of it, so C.
Thank you to all contributors to date. I would welcome further contributions by the end of this year. I will then close the poll and see where we are.
Last edited by Lateralthinking1; 27-12-11 at 18:00.
I too find Ian Mcmillan irritating.
As a matter of interest, which verb does it turn out to be?
The poll is now closed. 22 responses. A = 0; B = 2; C = 12; C/D = 7; D = 1. Clearly the programme is disliked by many. I appreciate the comments from Global Truth, Anna and others about my past reviews. However, Anna is right to say that I stopped writing those, and the weekly previews, because of the very small number of responses. I had hoped that they would lead to some fairly extensive two-way dialogue but that wasn't to be. This is not to say that the programme doesn't have an enthusiastic and loyal audience. It has many successful live events during each year. I am therefore slightly mystefied by the audience it does pull in. Are many "visitors" from other stations? I would love to see the figures but doubt that they are available.
The programmes have varied in their appeal to me. As Ian McMillan says, it is a pot-pourri. I enjoyed the programmes on Galician poetry and the poets of Scotland. The ones about the portrayal in literature of ill health and what it can mean to be elderly were thought provoking. I have welcomed modern popular writers and musicians with some depth. Folk tradition and race issues have consistently been reflected effectively. Sometimes the humour works. However, younger writers and performers have not always come across well, particularly those on the comedy club circuit. There are better ones out there. Some guests appear just a little too often and, worse, an affiliation with specific publishers means arguably that they are promoted too readily.
Handsomefortune suggests that "Poetry Please" is preferable. I take that point but not wholly without irony. The background of Roger McGough is such that he could almost be presenting The Verb. As it is, Poetry Please is a more conventional affair. While it is laced with whimsy, I can find it slightly depressing and the same is true of "Something Understood". While I like both those programmes, they do tend to leave emotions hanging in the air. With The Verb you get more light and shade around the writing and some serious analysis and discussion. A pity, then, when the programme becomes trite or focusses on the sensational for sensation's sake. Writers who revel in the negative essentially for shock value are nearly always a turn-off.
I don't intend to "promote" the programme in 2012. I will provide a link to the BBC page each week but I won't provide detailed previews and will only include clips occasionally. Similarly, following the programme, I may mention specific items briefly but won't provide detailed reviews as earlier. If I am still talking to the air by spring, I won't continue. While the reviews were time consuming, and a challenge, I don't regret the work I put to them. They enabled me to really think about the content and learn from it with enjoyment. But there isn't a lot of point to them in the broader sense if they aren't engaging with listeners.
Last edited by Lateralthinking1; 01-01-12 at 09:25.
Sorry to let you down, Lat. You've done really well and worked hard at promoting the programme - which is what Hosts are 'supposed' to do, so many thanks. Ian used to pop in to the BBC MBs, and writes regularly on the R3 blog. He didn't/doesn't get any more response than you have!
I think there may be an audience which doesn't consider itself "Radio 3" and doesn't join in with Radio 3 things. It's out there somewhere, just tuning in for the programme or listening on LA.
Rather than an R3 version of Poetry Please, reading poems, I'd sooner have discussions about poetry, especially issues on 'difficult' work, avant garde. (I see Geoffrey Hill has just been knighted, btw). In terms of poetry, Radio 3 has run to broadcasting the whole of Paradise Lost, Venus and Adonis, Enoch Arden. That's what I'd like more of (in fact, I'd prefer it to Words and Music, but sssshhhh.....)
Yes, Verb could easily be successful on R4....any number of programmes I would happily see it replace....
On the subject of response, Lat should note that on average a thread might have 30 times more views than responses. The Verb thread was well above average with 50 times more views - so people were reading it even if they weren't replying.
I'd much rather have readings of poetry than discussions about it, which invariably (in my experience) reduce and detract from the work in some way. I thought the broadcasts of Paradise Lost were superb. I don't think a poetry programme should be like Poetry Please but should concentrate on the work of one poet, or a long poem.Rather than an R3 version of Poetry Please, reading poems, I'd sooner have discussions about poetry, especially issues on 'difficult' work, avant garde. (I see Geoffrey Hill has just been knighted, btw). In terms of poetry, Radio 3 has run to broadcasting the whole of Paradise Lost, Venus and Adonis, Enoch Arden. That's what I'd like more of (in fact, I'd prefer it to Words and Music, but sssshhhh.....)