Punk poet John Cooper Clarke
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John Cooper Clarke: Michael Gove is 'right' on poetry

Punk poet John Cooper Clarke says former Education Secretary Michael Gove was "right" to support the learning of poetry by rote.

Gove has previously said learning a poem by heart is to "own a great work of art forever".

Cooper Clarke said too much emphasis was now put on meaning behind verse, rather than the sound of language.

He told Radio 5 live's Afternoon Edition the poems had "complex emotional issues" that children would not appreciate.

"Nobody's wrong about everything... and I think on that one he's right - learn it off by heart," he said. "It's a phonetic art form".

  • 30 Oct 2014