Pomp, circumstance and very bad poetry | Brief letters

Jubilee poems | Royal bias | Lisztomania | Subpostmasters

David Evans’ letter on poetry commissioned for the Queen’s silver jubilee (11 February) was amusing and instructive. Larkin’s serious submission was obsequious and trite, confirmation that the commissioned royal poem is always the very, very bad poem. Larkin’s Hughes pastiche on the other hand was earthy and hilarious. Perhaps only satire can provide a true artistic response to royal pomp. Simon Armitage please take note.
Tom McFadyen
Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire

• In view of the government’s instruction to schools not to show political bias (Report, 18 February), when the £12m Queen’s platinum jubilee book is sent to all schools, will teachers be required to circulate anti-monarchist leaflets to compensate?
Chris Ballance
Drumnadrochit, Inverness-shire

• Franz Liszt’s first public piano recitals in the 1830s were real gamechangers, both musically and culturally (Letters, 17 February). Before Liszt, concerts were by and large private affairs in aristocrats’ homes. It was Liszt and Paganini who first reduced a public audience to screaming and swooning.
Simon Lawton-Smith
Lewisham, London

• Surely subpostmasters should be recompensed by those who received huge bonuses during the time the flawed Horizon computer system was running (Report, 17 February).
Elizabeth Ashby
Greatford, Lincolnshire

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