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

Tarzan And The House Of Lords

On August the 27th 1912 Tarzan of the Apes was first published in serial form. I've always had a soft spot for Tarzan, and the background reading lead me into some very strange territory indeed! The principle area of weirdness was the Wold Newton family, where Phillip Jose Farmer postulates that all the major heroes of fiction are all related in one vast mutant family!

Tarzan is still around today - he took an immortality potion in the year 1912, and has been eternally 25 ever since. But, his whereabouts since 1945 have been a mystery - his disappeared after serving in the RAF during WWII. It's my theory that, as the Eighth Duke of Greystoke, he simply took up his legislative duties in the British House of Lords. Though the hereditary principle has been overthrown in the Lords, 90 places are reserved for the most active hereditary peers. I feel the Tarzan could not but help being one of the more active members of the House!

This poem is also based in part on the Lords' biographies that you can click on the House of Lords website - particularly the biog of Lord Archer, and other works of fiction.

It was broadcast on BBC Radio Wales' Roy's Rarebits on August 27 2006.

Tarzan And The House Of Lords

His Lordship is a very active Member of this House -
Too active, to be honest, for many of his peers;
His tendencies to swing in on the curtains cause remark,
And his dishabille has reduced many a Baroness to tears.

At openings of Parliament he causes much concern:
If he abstains from yelling it's a source of much relief.
He'll wear his ducal robes to the occasion, it is true,
But sadly will wear nothing but a loincloth underneath.

He has a rather hands-on attitude to our debates
And grappling opponents to the ground is hard to take.
He will insist on clambering his way across the seats
And frequently he startles several Members half awake!

In the Register of Interests he's listed on the Boards
Of many of the major wildlife charities, and such,
Particularly research in teaching chimpanzees to talk
(Though doesn't like the things they might be saying over much).

He likes to register his disapproval of a Bill
By impersonating leopards at the Peers in the front rows,
But tends to let amendments pass, in toto, unopposed
If he's much too busy peeling a banana - with his toes.

At the close of every session, when their Lordships all retire,
He knuckles from the Chamber as if swinging through the trees,
And takes tea with foreign visitors, ambassadors and the like,
Whilst hanging from the Pugin gasolier by his knees!

He lists his recreations, in Burke's Peerage (107),
As "wrestling alligators, and then fighting with a knife!".
His homes are named "The Jungle", and "Greystoke Manor, Bucks":
His club is the Reform: he's lead an interesting life.

It's true the Duke of Greystoke needs a haircut and a wash,
And shoes, and encouragement to come down from the drapes,
But in the Other Place at PM's Questions every week,
It's hard to tell who has and who has not been raised by apes.


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