'In our world of tweets and texts, poets guard against devaluation of language'
Olivia O'Leary, host of a new radio show dedicated to poetry, celebrates its power and how poetry is often used to carry the big occasion
On my office shelves there are some bulky files, four decades full of party political manifestos and promises. Some promises have been kept but many have not, and the empty words sit there, getting emptier by the year.
So maybe I have reached a stage in my life where I want words to mean something, and to keep their meaning for more than the span of an election or a government term. Good journalism is about truth. Good poetry is about truth. Maybe that's why I was so pleased to be given the chance to present The Poetry Programme.
Poets think about what they say. They calculate the weight and effect of a word as carefully as a jewellery maker chooses a gemstone. Look at how Colette Bryce describes the early morning city air: "An aftertaste of traffic taints the city's breath."