Yesterday was the launch of the All Wales Comic Verse Competition!
On Tuesday I posed for photo's on the steps of the Roman Legionary Museum in Caerleon, Newport. and read the launch poem. As I was a Romano-British Poet, I opted for the socks and sandals combination for which our Nation is renowned!
Here's the poem, a pastiche in the style of the Roman satirist, Juvenal:-
Invocation to the God of Poetry (and Others),
Hear us, Oh Apollo,
(And any other Gods who may be listening,)
From poets who are po-of-face,
Who trap us at their poetry readings
And trot out the same old tired tropes.
Who cares if Oedipus
Threw a wobbler over Mommy Dearest,
Or if Icarus on his rickety contraption
Took a header into the Aegean?
We still have to stub toes kicking for sandals beneath the bed,
Eat badly at the wrong end of our Patron’s table,
And piddle in the linen bleacher’s trough!
What do we care for Heroes
When we aren’t?
When clod-pated Claudius came home triumphant
From barbarian-infested Brittannia,
The slave that held his drooping laurels whispered
“Remember, you must die!” into his deaf ear;
But at the back of the procession,
After all the fat senators,
After all the dusty, sore-footed legionaries
Came the zanies, the pantomimes, the ragged-arsed fools
Who told us what we really knew already:
That the Senate was corrupt,
Messalina was a fat strumpet,
And the Emperor was a dribbling idiot!
And nothing changes –
Today it would be a crime not to write satires!
Take up your styluses!
The Gods are already laughing –
Go to The Caerleon Festival website if you'd like to enter the competition; full details and entry forms are downloadable on-line.
Here's the link:
There's a feature in the Argus Online here as well:
Finally, here's a link to a YouTube video of the reading, slightly editied: