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, September 12, 2006

No More To Caerlud

It's remarkable where you can end up by wandering through the internet. The poem was triggered by the fact that on July the 30th 1760 the last of London's city gates were sold off for scrap. The three gates in question were Aldersgate, Cripplegate and Ludgate.

Whilst it's easy to see where Cripplegate got it's name (begging for alms), and Aldersgate (where the elders entered the city) Ludgate was a bit of a mystery to me.

Lud, it transpires, was both a Celtic God (Llud Llaw Eraint) and the mythical founder of London. It was the westernmost gate to the city, thereby showing that Lud must have entered from an easterly direction, ie Wales. That most Welsh people know nothing of the "origins" of the nations Capital is surprising, particularly since the writer of this history was Geoffrey of Monmouth.

Is his account true? Probably not, but never mind.

This poem was broadcast on Roy's Rarebits on July 30 2006.

No More To Caerlud.

Lud can no more enter his city
Robbed of the gate that he used in his day:
Blagden of Coleman Street bought it completely
In 1760, and dragged it away.

He who once was God of the river,
Llud of the Silver Hand visits no more;
Denied of the gate that carried his name on’t
He simply refuses to use the back door.

The westernmost gate has gone, and defensive
Towers he built have vanished, and all
That remains of the temple that honored his triumphs
Is buried beneath the fat dome of St. Paul.

He who was God of harpers and healers,
Historians and writers, poets so proud,
Simply declines descending at Paddington,
Bothered and jostled as one of the crowd.

The people of Lud, who go on that journey,
Know not that that city once carried his name
(Caerlud, Caerlundein, then Roman Londinium)
Unknowing, they carry on shopping the same.

Lud could once more enter his city:
Tell poets and harpers to sing all he did;
Tell historians to write of his power, of his glory,
His impending return: but who would he kid?

He, the occasional King of the Otherworld,
God of war, and (collaterally) death,
Stays in another world; under his hollow hills
Llud Llaw Eraint is saving his breath.


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