Liz Lochhead is clear on where she stands. She sees no difficulty in being a high-profile member of the SNP and the Scots Makar. Others aren't so sure. Several have called for her resignation.

Lochhead let her political sympathies be known during the referendum. She came out as a Yes supporter to the National Collective, a group of artists and cultural figures who supported independence.

She went a step further at the weekend. The SNP announced she had joined their party before she appeared at the second annual SNP Women's Conference in Ayr.

The poet and playwright was pictured holding up her membership card to a cheering audience. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed her, saying: "I am delighted the Scottish Makar has joined the SNP. During the referendum campaign Liz was an inspiration to many across the movement and I have no doubt she will have helped many undecided voters over to Yes."

So here is the question. If the Scots Makar is the poet for the entire country, is her publicly funded post consistent with being a member of any political party?

Or is the problem that she is a high-profile and active member of the SNP, the governing party? Or is there no problem at all?

The composer James Macmillan is clear about his view. He told his Twitter followers that the "ethical step would be for Liz Lochhead to relinquish the post".

The Makar receives the princely sum of £10,000 a year for the five-year post. It isn't much but it is from the public purse. Should Ms Lochhead return it with her title?

She thinks any such idea is "bonkers". She says she is, first, a private citizen with the right to express her political views. She was not told before she accepted the role of Makar that there would be any political restriction on her.

She maintains that it was as a private citizen that she joined the SNP.

But was it? Would she have attracted the same attention without her title? Isn't it as Makar that she is such a feather in the party's cap?

And, if she is joining as a private citizen, should she have requested no publicity and asked that her role as Makar be down-played?

It matters because, if the country is to have a Makar, shouldn't that poet speak to all of the people or be able to be claimed by them? So soon after a referendum when bridges need to be built, should she at least not become openly aligned with one tribe?

It puts her offside with at least half the population. How is that consistent with the spirit of the role?

I came across a similar issue when I was a student in Belfast. Hundreds were taking part in a civil rights protest. The late Dr Ian Paisley blocked our path, so we sat down. The police started to drag us off the road. Tension was high. Then I noticed Seamus Heaney wending his way through us. He was teaching in the English Department at the time.

I presumed he had come to lead us, but no. He was urging, in that quiet voice, that we return to the students' union. Reluctantly, we did. Foremost in my mind that day was not Ian Paisley but Seamus Heaney and the disappointment he was.

What I now see is his maturity and wisdom. His aim was to keep us safe. That was how he conducted himself throughout the Troubles, as a poet; a voice above the fray.

It wasn't that he held no political views. Years later he would write: "Be advised my passport's green, No glass of ours was ever raised, to toast the Queen."

Yet he sat down to dinner with the Queen and, in January last year when Loyalists rioted because their flag no longer flew every day at Belfast City Hall, he asked: "Why not let them fly their flag?"

He remained a poet who could be owned by all. Isn't that what Ms Lochhead bought into when she became Makar, to be a voice for the entire country, for the 100 per cent not the 45.

Edwin Morgan, her predecessor, was a supporter of Scottish nationalism. He left the party nearly £1million in his will. After receiving it, Alex Salmond commented that Edwin Morgan "didn't wear his politics on his sleeve".

Was that an example Ms Lochhead might have done well to heed? Does the fact that she is joining the same political party that he supported add to the perception that the Makar is a politicised post? Will the selection panel feel the need for party balance with the next choice of Makar? And won't that be a shame?

Poets can be political, propagandists even. Think of Wilfred Owen or Siegfried Sassoon. But their verses were targeted at the terrible waste of war: an issue much more fundamental than party politics.

Ms Lochhead says she admires Nicola Sturgeon's promised new style of politics with equal representation for women and a reaching out to a broader consensus. But, had she expressed her shared beliefs in these values through her art, wouldn't she have better served her role as Makar?

So should she resign?

Well, look at it another way. What if she was already in a political party when the Makar was being chosen? Would that membership have ruled her out?

Do we want our Makar to be the best poet or one who is non-partisan? It's a question Ms Lochhead is posing to the country. Maybe she could answer in verse?

I think she is the right poet who has made a wrong judgment.