Andrew Motion the Poet Laureate released his poem commemorating England's victory in the Rugby World Cup this week, only four months after the event. His excuse for the delay, he couldn't find a rhyme for Wilkinson. So here we have....A Song for Jonny.
O Jonny the power of your boot
And the accurate heart-stopping route
Of your goal as it ghosts
Through Australian posts
Is a triumph we gladly salute.
O Martin the hight of your leap
And the gritty possession you keep
Of the slippery ball
In the ruck and the maul
Is enough to make patriots weep.
O Jason the speed of your feet
And their side-stepping hop-scotching beat
As you touch down and score
While the terraces roar
Is the thing that makes chariots sweet.
O forwards and backs you have all
Shown us wonderful ways to walk tall
And together with Clive
You will help us survive
Our losses with other-shaped balls.
So, folks, I ask you, was it worth waiting four months for this?
O Andrew we haven't a notion
How you write with such ardent devotion
Of quick fellows who
Are so unlike you
They exemplify poetry in motion.
Post Edited (03-21-04 01:44)
Poor Andrew, your efforts appall
All students of limerick scrawl:
You couldn't rhyme Wilkinson,
And your verses ain't silken, son,
Since balls isn't rhyming with tall.
Oh laureate! Fie! and for shame!
if you can’t find a rhyme for each name
such as Martin and Wilkin-
son, Clive, and their ilk in
a poem about the big game.
O Andrew, your poetry's bad,
Your rhyming ability's sad.
If bad verse doesn't stop,
you're next for the chop,
For you'll make her Majesty mad!
Hey, what does this Laureate get paid anyhow? Perhaps we could offer an eMule package deal?
Your question intrigued me so I did some looking and found out:
1. The U.S. poet laureate is officially called "The Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress" -- which makes sense, I think.
2. "The Laureate receives a $35,000 annual stipend funded by a gift from Archer M. Huntington." In other words, your taxes do not pay the stipend. (Darn!)
3. The Library of Congress has a website that works! I used the library's website search function and FOUND THAT INFORMATION RIGHT AWAY.
This output from our Poet Laureate -
The British taxpayer pays foreate.*
A limerick's fine
At the right place and time -
But this waste of cash I abhoreate.
*to the tune of £5,000 a year, apparently. Rather more than the traditional butt of sack.
Not a bad job, since 'ours' (US) isn't required to write anything during her/his term of service.
Latest reports on Andrew Motion trying to fulfil his duties as poet laureate. He is writing his poem to mark to wedding of Prince Charles to Camilla Parker-Bowles already. Not that they've even decided to name the day yet (if at all) but he can't find a rhyme for Camilla so has decided to start now ready for if it is needed. What's wrong with vanilla or Godzilla? For Pete's sake the man is supposed to be a professional.
Must be a joke, since everyone would quickly choose the most obvious rhyme, przybyla.
About 2 years ago I booked to go to a talk by Andrew Motion with some of his poetry being read. It was cancelled at the last minute (ie we turned up at the door and were told he'd had a family bereavment). I was a bit miffed that no alternative later date ever appeared. However, having read this posting, I now feel blessed at my lucky escape. The only consolation is that he said when he took the job that he wouldn't keep it for life (as he is entitled to do) I think he took a 5 year tenure which should be up soon!
Hopefully Wendy Cope will now inherit and leave a legacy all future PLs can hope to match!
Hear, hear - but don't hold your breath; the British poetry mafia are a very funny lot and they seem to have the casting vote.
"He is writing his poem to mark to wedding of Prince Charles to Camilla Parker-Bowles already."
Reminds me of Tom Lehrer's introduction to his song, SO LONG, MOM"(about the nuclear devastation of the world): "I feel that if any good songs are going to come out of World War Three, we'd better start writing them now."
In Andrew Motion's defense -- well, not his DEFENSE exactly, but by way of explaining him a bit -- perhaps it was difficult growing up with a name that invited puns and rhymes. Not as difficult as growing up with a name like "Slimey Rat-Faced Git," but difficult all the same.
Should Charles and Camilla get married?
Labour balked, but Conservatives parried:
“What a waste of an ode
In the Hymenal mode!”
So the Motion was offered and carried.
If he can't find a rhyme for Camilla, he'll really have a problem finding one for Charles. Will they honeymoon in Arles, to avoid traffic snarls?
The bonnie Prince Charlie
Might look pretty gnarly,
But his lover Camilla
Could frighten Godzilla.
My poetry's nearly as laureate
as an overcooked broccoli fleureate
but in moments not months
you can see any dunce
can write something that cant be ignoreate
I assure you Camilla
the Queens not a killa
and it's all a lie
about Dodi and Di
There ain't no conspiracy
real or imaginal
So please try to act very
If only Andrew Motion could publish that fine ClaryHugh as his own, the British would enjoy a belly laugh, he would be cheered to the Tower on a tumbril, and Ms Cope could be laureated in his stead. Win, win, win...
Post Edited (04-27-04 16:39)
His King's son
wow, I've been coming here for 4 months today !
bet it seems longer, especially for some !
Damn, I'm still giggling over this one!
Thanks ! had almost forgotten about it !
Happy 4th Johnny!
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)
Trying to find a rhyme for Wilkinson,
you should have slept in silken's, son.
Post Edited (08-28-04 17:05)
You can't call a person Wilkinson
Unless the mother is someone Wilkin's done.
Pilkington rhymes with Wilkinson - sometimes. Difficult to work glass manufacture into a sports poem, though.
oh my gosh im writing a poem and i cant find a rhyme for poison!
Tricky, chey, but there's an easy way out - put a line break in the middle of a phrase eg
goys (!) on
hoi polloi's on
anyway, I want to bet he won't put Camilla at the end of the line. I wouldn't if I were him.
I am trying to find a poem by Motion to see if it is worthwile to buy a book. Can anyone give me one or pass some judgement?
Andrew Motion doesn't ring my bell, but I feel sure he didn't get to be poet laureate by lacking in talent.
To answer their query, though, as to what rhymes with Camilla - dare one suggest Godzilla? With a face that could sink a flotilla? Jay Leno has been picking on her appearance for some weeks now, so he would probably agree.
Scratch that one - identical rhyme, streng verboten!
Hugh, someone named "HughClary" already wrote a pretty good one rhyming Camilla with Godzilla
Poise on, cloys on toys on, etc. Or, poise in, if you prefer.
Oh, wow, I completely forgot! The old gray memory, she ain't what she usta be. That's the down side of hitting the 'end' key when opening a page here, then paging back up for new messages.
Flat view always !
As for berries,name your poison....
Rasp for you, me for boysen....
"I "Love Summer more than I hate Winter"
"I "Love Summer more than I hate Winter"
It would be easy if the rhyme for Camilla was to come from Australia.
Over here Charles would be known as "Chilla"
Try that one !!
I wouldn't buy the book, Desi. He took the job to become 'an ambassador for poetry', works very hard at it and earns the money that way . But as a poet - I've tried really hard to find something I like and only found a couple that are bearable. He's like anyone else Blair chooses - talks the talk but can't cut the mustard.
Here's one of the two I found 'bearable'
Thursday April 3, 2003
Advancing down the road from Niniveh
Death paused a while and said 'Now listen here.
You see the names of places roundabout?
They're mine now, and I've turned them inside out.
Take Eden, further south: at dawn today
I ordered up my troops to tear away
its walls and gates so everyone can see
that gorgeous fruit which dangles from its tree.
You want it, don't you? Go and eat it then,
and lick your lips, and pick the same again.
Take Tigris and Euphrates; once they ran
through childhood-coloured slats of sand and sun.
Not any more they don't; I've filled them up
with countless different kinds of human crap.
Take Babylon, the palace sprouting flowers
which sweetened empires in their peaceful hours -
I've found a different way to scent the air:
already it's a by-word for despair.
Which leaves Baghdad - the star-tipped minarets,
the marble courts and halls, the mirage-heat.
These places, and the ancient things you know,
you won't know soon. I'm working on it now.'
Interesting article in the New York Times yesterday regarding Andrew Motion's efforts, but I was disappointed when Hugh wasn't mentioned
Tsk. I remember writing this one way back when Motion was first appointed:
Andrew Motion, said Tony Blair,
Seems to answer our every prayer
For one more aureate