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

French

A poem requested for the Community Education Newsletter, as an example of how not to do it!
And, honestly, everything about this poem is true!


French

He taught French,
Did Mr Morgan,
(And looked like Lurch
Aged seventy,
With a long, crumpled neck
Like a distressed factory chimney,
And a bright yellow streak of nicotine
Staining the bristling, white, flattop hair
Above eyebrows each as big as a badger),
Except on the last session on Fridays
When he couldn't be bothered.
Then he taught us
The derivation of our surnames,
Each one of the thirty-one of us,
One after another,
For forty minutes,
And how he'd once tackled De Gaulle
Before scoring the winning try
At the Stade de France
In nineteen thirty something.
The rest of the time,
When he could be bothered,
And in between snatched roll-ups
Furtively smoked between yellowing finger knuckles
In the school corridorTwice per lesson,
He'd rank us according to our inadequacies,
Separating out those who were merely stupid
From the utterly irredeemable,
And insisting that anyone named
Morgan in his class
Had to be the very best at French,
Or never be called other than "Higginbotham"
In his classroom.I was denied my own surname

For three years,
To everyone else's amusement,
Then escaped his brown-fingered clutches at fourteen,
And never looked at a French dictionary again.

Mr. Morgan is probably as dead as De Gaulle,
Lying there as perfectly smoked as a mackerel,
Pickled in nicotine,Tarred like a mummy,
And he's probably every bit as good a teacher
As he ever was.

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