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".

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Love In Defiance

On July 16th, 1439, kissing was banned in England (allegedly to stop germs from spreading, although germs hadn't been discovered then, so what they thought they were preventing spreading goodness alone knows).

Henry VI seems to have been a bit of a miserable git all round, so it doesn't surprise me.

This poem was written for the BBC Radio Wales program, "Roy's Rarebits!" and broadcast on the anniversary of this stern decree.

Love In Defiance

There should have been no pecks upon the sly
In barns and undercrofts,
No bright blossoming cheeks bussed
To blush from breast to forelock, and set ears ablaze,
No first kisses to set youthful hearts aflutter,
With lips that brushed uncertain of response,
No fleeting furtive fancyings
Sealed with sudden smackers,
No breathless passionate smooching
To leave shambolic shirts, and dimpled wimples,
There should have been no snogging whatsoever
When they banned kissing.

Was there abstinence, I wonder, when this health conscious measure
Was proclaimed in square and field:
Did loved ones, after a long absence,
Remain dry cheeked in stilted welcome:
Did sons and daughters try to sleep in croft and cot
Uncomforted by the lingering touch of parental lips;
Did friends step out into the threatening dark
Merely mm-wah-mm-wahed on their way,
Did bewrinkled whiskered aunts
Cease to plant moist affection on reluctant wriggling nieces,
Was there a full-on famine of fondness
When they banned kissing?

Or did they do what we would do:
Bolt the door,
Secure the shutters,
And in gleeful acts of unlawful osculation
Spread love in defiance of all germs.


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