Drop the epithet

You could have been called
the Gershwin of Grimethorpe,
the Hughes of Hoyland,
the Longfellow of Lundwood;
“The Bard of Barnsley”
kills stone dead creativity
but buys life membership to
the Luddite coal mining club.

“The Bard of Barnsley”
good grief! Tell me you don’t cry yourself to sleep,
just because it rhymes
it’s still a mill-stone
you don’t have to keep.

Did all the metaphors
and similes have the day off
when they labelled you with this
alliterate crime?

Drop the house brick
that is holding you back
and let the real
Ian McMillan shine.

Your John Smiths must
be watered twice over
with your torrid, torrential tears;
it is more than a shame
to be told to wear one hat;
it is the sum of all
a true poets fears.

My heart goes out to you
fellow thinker, dreamer, friend?
for the love of Philip Larkin
bring this monstrous madness
to and end.

Your none paper poetry
evokes honest, heart-felt pride
but your home-grown town
wouldn’t recognise your talent
even if you turned up
with thirteen free pork pies.

© Copyright D. Archer October 2011

Ian McMillan is a performance poet extra-ordinaire from my home town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire in England, Gods Country, Earth. yet in my opinion he is far more than his jolly colloquial accent and persona.

He presents a Radio programme called The Verb on BBC Radio 3 and if it were not for him I would not have experienced new emerging poetic talents as well as hearing timeless classics. He is to my love of Poetry what John Peel was to my musical education.

The village names will mean little to far flung readers but to us proud Yorkshire folk they are words that conjure a thousand lines instantly.

His passion for poetry knows no bounds a bit like mine except mine is for Guinness.

A Challenge to The Bard of Barnsley

To be The Bard of Barnsley
is an insult from me to thee,
to talk like Graham Chapman
in that sketch by Monty Python
is to pander to their proletariat needs;
layabouts loathe language
and it’s your job as Bard of Barnsley
to vex them in their habit.

Wean them off The Sunday Sport
lead them to the library
I challenge you
Bard of Barnsley
to make one Luddite
fall in love with Keats.

Ian McMillan is “The Bard of Barnsley” personally I think he called this because it rhymes. They could have called him the Chaucer of Cudworth or the Keats of Kendray, or The Hughes of Hoyland. The people bestowed upon him one of the most limiting titles ever created. He must be crying on the inside as his poems are far more challenging than mine.

I want to be remembered as “The Plath of Wath” which is another small village on the outskirts of Barnsley.

I await the lawsuit that is sure to follow this post.

© Copyright D. Archer October 2011