Love poetry and the Education Secretary may seem like an unlikely combination, but Michael Gove is advising young people to swap ‘sexting’ for romantic poems.
He is encouraging teenagers to start using a new app called The Love Book, instead of sending sexually explicit images or messages from smartphones. It allows users to record themselves reading poetry to share with their intended, together with recordings of actors including Helena Bonham Carter, Damian Lewis and Gina Bellman.
Mr Gove suggested that poetry can help young people ‘make sense of their own feelings in a way that is more graceful, expressive and beautiful [than sexting]’ and added that: “Technology does not have to mean that expression becomes clumsier.”
Actress Helena Bonham Carter said: “Give your child an appetite for poems and they will never be bored. I think as a child I was a bit scared by poetry until someone told me it was a song that didn’t need the music. Some people say that a good tweet is a haiku. A text could be a poem too…it’s just making magic with words.”
Are you surprised by Michael Gove’s choice of love poetry – what’s your favourite? And do you think the new app will become a popular alternative to sexting?