Goff Morgan - Adventures In Hack Poetry

A repository for the poetry of Goff Morgan, the one and only Newport Town Poet. Goff was the only official town poet in Wales from 1997 to 2000, and since then has continued in an informal capacity to write commissioned verse for BBC Radio Wales, and others.

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Location: Newport, Gwent, United Kingdom

I trained as an actor in the early eighties, and performed my own one-man shows until 2000. I was made Newport Town Poet in 1997, and have broadcast on BBC Radio Wales since 1991. My first solo programme for Radio Wales was "Goff At The Pictures", and I've recently completed a two parter called "Goff's Guiding Principles".

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Barbarian At The Gate

This poem was written for the opening of The Riverfront Arts Centre, a long awaited and much appreciated event in Newport.

It was read, after some confusion, on Saturday 23rd October, 2004.

The Barbarian At The Gate.

When the Barbarian stands at the gate,
And the sound of the death knell rings hollow,
One should not give up, or give way to despair;
There's a simple procedure to follow.

One should not make mock of his hair and his woad;
It will only aggravate him.
One should not rain down on him arrows and blows;
It will serve to irritate him.

No, engage with the fellow in matters of Art:
Let him read from his native romances.
Invite the bold gentleman onto the stage
To perform his indigenous dances.

Encourage the warrior to lay down his arms
For a pottery session, at least:
And foster his song: for music, we know,
Can soothe the most turbulent beast.

And should one engage in this "cultural" war,
One is more or less certain to win:
The Barbarian won't want to kick down the gate
If he's queuing with the others to get in.

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