13 Aug 2012

London Games lauded by Poet Laureate

1:45 pm on 13 August 2012

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has celebrated the way in which Britons embraced the Olympic Games, eulogised their gold medallists and attacked bankers for "filching our gold, our silver".

Her poem, "Translating the British, 2012", appeared on the front page of the Guardian newspaper on Saturday.

Named Britain's official poet in 2009, Duffy referred to cheering crowds at the opening ceremony and how the weather behaved to add to the feelgood factor generated by the Olympics.

She also alluded to a sense of pride amon Britons: "We say we want to be who we truly are,/now, we roar it. Welcome to us," she wrote.

The host nation has won 26 golds so far - its highest tally since 1908.

Duffy referred to a series of banking scandals that have led to resentment among the British public over bail-outs and bonuses.

"We've had our pockets picked,/the soft, white hands of bankers,/bold as brass, filching our gold, our silver;/we want it back."

She also called for school sports facilities to be improved to ensure a lasting legacy from the success of London 2012 and returned in a coda to what the Games might mean for Britain in the longer term.

"We sense new weather./We are on our marks. We are all in this together."

The title of Poet Laureate comes from the ancient Greeks who crowned celebrated poets with laurels.

King Charles II gave John Dryden the official title of Poet Laureate in 1668. Others have included William Wordsworth, Alfred Tennyson, Ted Hughes and Andrew Motion.