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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...


Scottish working class poets given new life with People’s Journal collection

January 26 2017

An insight into the life of Victorian Scotland’s “forgotten” poets published in Dundee has been brought back for a modern audience. The People’s Journal, printed by John Leng & Co and then DC Thomson in the city edition between 1858 and 1986, was billed in the 19th Century as “a penny Saturday paper devoted to the interests of the working classes.” Each edition included poems by people from all walks of life across Tayside, who used the format to talk about strikes, trade unions and politics, among many other topics. Strathclyde University academic Kirstie Blair has collected more than 100 of these poems from 1858 to 1883, in a volume entitled Poets of the People’s Journal: Newspaper Poetry in Victorian Scotland. Publishers the Association for Scottish Literary Studies hope the book will give modern readers a “vivid portraits of their writers’ lives”. Contributors would send in material under their own names and pseudonyms such as Eriphos, Harpoon, and Trebor. The collection also illustrates how the infamous poet William McGonagall, represented by An Address to Thee Tay Bridge from September 15 1877,  was part of a wider culture of “bad” verse in papers. Professor Blair said: “It was a popular practice for many people in the 19th Century to go home after work and write a poem. “A lot of them had extremely hard lives but it was an aspirational and highly regarded pursuit. “It was also a badge of pride for them to display their literacy skills. “People in Scotland in this period were very proud of the idea that Scotland had more ‘people’s poets’ than any other nation on earth, and every Scottish town or village had its own bard. “There was a great deal of competition between towns and local readers followed the careers of ‘their’ poets. “A lot of these poets are entirely forgotten now because they were published in newspapers, rather than in books or magazines, but the poetry is of a far higher quality and far more entertaining than might have been thought. “The book includes poems by and about William McGonagall, who has become known as ‘the world’s worst poet’, though I show here that he was actually part of an established culture of deliberately bad newspaper poetry and became a major comic poet through it. “Most of these poems cover subjects which are surprisingly relevant today.” The anthology also contains selected poems from the People’s Friend, which was originally a spin-off from the People’s Journal and is still published today.   The growth of weekly news Newspapers of the early 19th Century were subject to stamp duty of up to four pence per copy, which made daily consumption of news too expensive for many working-class readers. Weekly digests offered a cheaper option, and provided an outlet for a wave of Scottish writers. Following the success of publications such as the People’s Journal, poetry and fiction were often introduced to daily newspapers, and this material was often a way around paying more stamp duty. After the tax was repealed in 1855, many writers in Scots enjoyed a surge in readership, and the popularity of serialised books continues to this day. The Journal’s most influential editor, Fife autodidact William D Latto, first appeared in the paper as a contributing writer. His “Tammas Bodkin” columns helped popularise the use of Scots in the Victorian print era.


Our ten centos worth part of Poetry Day patchwork

October 6 2010

It's National Poetry Day on Thursday, which means there will be events across Britain celebrating the power of the written word. And, thanks to a local poet, scribes everywhere have been given the chance to take part. The event has been going since 1994 and, back in 2003, Roger McGough was invited by the Poetry Society to run an event asking people to submit lines on a chosen theme. He then selected some of the best to make a patchwork poem, or cento. Inspired by Roger McGough's work, local poet Andy Jackson, who lives in north-east Fife and works as a librarian at the University of Dundee, decided to put together one of his own via his blog page North Carr Light, which documents literary goings on in the area. Each National Poetry Day has a new theme, and 2010's is "home". Last month, Andy began asking people to send in original poetry on this theme, for instance, buildings, places of birth, the people who mean "home", the tastes or smells of home and journeys to or from home. There were over 40 contributors ranging from established Scottish writers such as Sheila Templeton and Eleanor Livingstone, to a group of children from a school in Aberdeen and members of an adult learning centre on the West Coast. Andy has now put individual lines together ready for publishing on his blog tomorrow. He said, "The idea of the cento poem is quite an old one. In previous days, poets would take one line from well-established and well-known poems and construct a new poem out of it. "Unlike Roger McGough, I wasn't invited to do this, but I thought it was something people who weren't able to attend a National Poetry Day event could still do."Literary sceneAndy, who is originally from Manchester, said it was apt the patchwork poem should have originated in Dundee, as it's a city with a burgeoning literary scene. He had originally intended the poem to be only Scottish, but the idea picked up pace and word spread south of the border "I decided that I wouldn't turn anybody away, but if it had a Scottish background to it then, that would help in the overall poem. "We want to create something reasonably artistic and colourful so people can print it out and hang it up somewhere and I sourced images on website Flickr by Australian photographer Terri Turner, who creates tartan effects from photos of the natural world. She allowed me to use the images free of charge." Andy went on to say a real life giant patchwork poetry was created last year by the Poetry Society with the help of around 1000 volunteer knitters from all over the world to celebrate the organisation's centenary year. The 12m square patchwork is going to be travelling to St Andrews for the 2011 StAnza festival. "There is scope for our poem to be developed into something more 'permanent', but I suppose we might just have to rely upon somebody picking it up. It may be that we get some interest once it has been printed."EventsNational Poetry Day is a campaign for all poets, poetry fans and poetry organisations to enjoy and take part in. Since 1994, it has engaged millions of people with poetry through a range of live events and web-based activities for people young and old throughout the country. On Thursday morning, the Scottish Poetry Library will take to the streets with the Edinburgh City Libraries mobile van to distribute postcards and good poetry cheer to the people of Edinburgh. Then, at 3pm, the SPL will throw open the doors to its residence in Crichton's Close, Canongate, for an old fashioned tea party during which people can share their favourite verses. Well known Fife poet William Hershaw will host an evening of poems and the stories that inspired them at 7.30pm in Duloch Library as part of Celebrating Fife 2010 and the local heroes project. Meanwhile, at the same time, there will be an event at West Mearns Parish Church led by Rev Catherine Hepburn and poet Peter Morriss. Members of the audience are encouraged to bring along something to read aloud. Finally, on Friday evening at the Links Hotel in Montrose, poet Tim Turnbull and three other writers from Calder Wood Press will host an event with Rachel Fox accompanied by music from Dundee choir Loadsaweeminsingin. At the beginning of this week, Roger McGough got things rolling by penning two poems in response to the tube strike in London, proving there really is a place for poetry, no matter what the occasion.


Scottish book of the week

December 3 2016

The Map and the Clock: A Laureate’s Choice of the Poetry of Britain and Ireland, published by Faber & Faber Ltd, £20 The Map and the Clock is a celebration of the most scintillating poems ever composed on our islands. Curated by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and by Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales, this anthology gathers 14 centuries of extraordinary verse. Beginning with the first writings from the old languages of England and Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and culminating in some of our most recent poets, speaking in our present-day tongues, this anthology spans from the earliest acknowledged written poem, Caedmon’s Hymn, to the work of emerging poet Zaffar Kunial. Many of our founding myths and legends are told here – King Arthur and Gawain, Beowulf and Mad Sweeney, the Mabinogion – as are the nursery-tales and songs we still sing today. Through these pages we witness the tragedy of European wars and world conflict; we court romance and friendship; we explore nationhood and belonging, Identity and belief; and we are welcomed to a celebration of the cultural diversity of the poetries of our 21st Century. As well as being a beautiful book, The Map and the Clock is an essential treasury of the poems that have moulded our languages, examined our worlds, and shaped our islands through time. 9/10

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Jim Crumley

The skylark: poetry in motion

April 18 2017

Skylark, have you anything to say to me? The question is Hoagy Carmichael’s, the opening line to one of my very favourite songs, and a jazz guitarist’s dream. As a (very) part-time jazz guitarist who leans towards it often, as well as a nature writer for whom larksong and larkflight have been stopping me in my tracks since childhood, guess what I have been doing these last few days of burgeoning spring? Larksong and larkflight have been tools of biology and evolution for who knows how many millennia but for a handful of centuries they have also been the raw materials of a great tonnage of poetry. Norman MacCaig for example: “That sprinkling lark jerked upward in the blue…” “Sprinkling” is inspired. That skylark climbing above me in the Ochils sprinkled the hillside with discarded notes. And yes, that arguably un-poetic “jerked” is a spot-on observation of the nature of the rising flight. Splurges George Mackay Brown for example: “A lark splurges in Galilees of sky…” Who but such a poet with such an ear and such an eye for nature’s particular Orcadian cadences would bracket “lark” and “splurges” side by side in the same line? And: “…what peltings of song!” He wrote that about skylarks too, for that drenching downpour of larksong en masse when “sprinkling” is just too genteel for what falls to earth from the zenith of those tall columns of song. And then, of course, there was this: “Hail to thee blithe Spirit! Bird thou never wert, That from Heaven, or near it, Pourest thy full heart In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.” Percy Bysshe Shelley, the crown prince of skylark poets, certainly knew the value of a belter of an opening verse with which to beat his readers about the head. To a Skylark layers imagery as thickly as semi-quavers in a climbing yard of larksong. It may be a bit picky to challenge his ardour and his palette with a sliver of doubt, and so challenge posterity’s acclaim of the poem, but I am pretty sure I spent longer accumulating that doubt than he did listening to his single skylark – if indeed a single skylark is what he heard. Heard, please note, not saw: “In the broad daylight, Thou art, unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.” Shelley cannot see the skylark he immortalised. So how sure can he be that he is hearing only one skylark? New song I have very good eyesight and very good binoculars but in one hillside hour of concentrated watching and listening, I realised often the song of one skylark was replaced or at least overlapped by the new song of another, closer to me or lower in the sky and therefore louder. But Shelley gave no clue that the possibility had occurred to him. It is possible, of course, there was only one skylark singing and he heard the song from beginning to end, but he did not even tell us that he listened to the whole song. The skylark was still singing when his poem ended with a plea that still resonates with nature poets who were ever stopped in their wandering tracks by a singing skylark: “Teach me half the gladness That thy brain must know, Such harmonious madness From my lips would flow. The world should listen then – as I am listening now.” The sheer weight of numbers of skylark poems puts it in a league of its own. The roll-call also includes John Clare, Wordsworth (twice), Gerald Manley Hopkins (twice), Isaac Rosenberg, C Day Lewis, George Meredith, James Hogg, Christina Rossetti, Goethe and Ted Hughes. Thomas Hardy also wrote a poem about one of Shelley’s two skylark poems (the famous one), so technically you could say that was a skylark poem poem. Hopkins used to visit his grandfather’s house in Croydon, as a result of which there is now a pub near the house called The Skylark. Talk about immortality. Symbolic role And then there was Shakespeare, who was forever invoking skylarks in some symbolic role or other. Romeo and Juliet have a conversation in Juliet’s bed chamber (or perhaps just her bed) about whether the bird they can hear is a nightingale or a skylark. If it is a nightingale all is well and Romeo can linger a little longer; if it’s a skylark then it’s time he got his skates on, and his clothes of course. Ted Hughes was, reliably, more unromantic. His skylark had: “A whippet head, barbed like a hunting arrow…” And then there was Carmichael, who fashioned something of a miracle in the way he fused his melody and the lyric written jointly with Johnny Mercer. Richard M Sudhalter’s biography of him, Stardust Melody, observes: “Its most memorable feature is the bridge, or middle section… there is not a phrase, not a moment, in which it resembles the bridge of any other popular song.” You might say the same of the skylark itself.


Jackie Kay named as Scotland’s new national poet

March 15 2016

Scotland's new national poet has been announced by the First Minister. Jackie Kay will take over the post from Liz Lochhead, who recently ended her five-year term as Scotland's makar. The role will see Ms Kay, who was made an MBE for her services to literature in 2006, create new work and promote poetry throughout the country. She was selected from a shortlist prepared by a panel of literary experts, with the final selection made by Nicola Sturgeon and former first ministers Alex Salmond, Lord McConnell and Henry McLeish. Ms Sturgeon made the announcement on Tuesday at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, where Ms Kay read one of her own poems, Between The Dee And The Don. Ms Kay said: "It's a tremendous honour to be chosen as Scotland's new makar - following in the footsteps of such wonderful poets as Edwin Morgan and Liz Lochhead. "As Robert Burns demonstrated, poetry holds up a unique mirror to a nation's heart, mind and soul. It is the pure language that tells us who we are. "I hope to open up the conversations, the blethers, the arguments and celebrations that Scotland has with itself and with the rest of the world, using the voice of poetry in its fine Scottish delivery." Ms Sturgeon said: "Poetry is part of Scotland's culture and history, it celebrates our language and can evoke strong emotions and memories in all of us. "The role of the makar is to celebrate our poetic past, promote the poetry of today and produce new pieces of work that relate to significant events in our nation. "Jackie Kay's poems sometimes deal with challenging subjects, taken from her own life experiences, and she has a particular Scottish brand of gallus humour. "She is hugely respected, is known for her poignant and honest words, and is a role model for many, and I am delighted to name her as the new national poet for Scotland." The makar is appointed by the Scottish Government for five years, with an annual stipend of £10,000 administered by Creative Scotland.


Tay bard William McGonagall ‘deliberately wrote bad poems to earn more money’, professor claims

February 4 2017

Dundee's William McGonagall - widely regarded as history's "best worst" poet - may actually have been in on the joke, a Victorian literary expert has said. McGonagall, known for his takes on the Tay Bridge disaster and famous Tay whale, was reported to have carried an umbrella to protect himself from rotten fruit thrown at him by strangers. However, Kirstie Blair, a professor of English at Strathclyde University, has suggested the Bard of the Tay cashed in on a lucrative trend at the time for deliberately terrible poetry. In fact, the writer could have earned up to 15 shillings per recitation because of the craze. Professor Blair explained: "There are two aspects to this culture. We have the street singers whose poetry - and there's a debate as to whether we can really call it poetry - or spoken word verses start off as early as the 1800s onward. They are similar in style and rhythm to McGonagall. "There was a guy in Stirlingshire who was performing in his local village, reading his terrible poetry. He published his works and sold them to people, who all knew it was bad. It was a known way of earning a bit of extra cash. "When I started looking at newspapers, I saw poetry criticism in papers becomes very big. They realised if you published bad poems with rude comments it was funny. "It seems to start out as editors publishing bad poems and then people start writing their own bad poems. "It becomes a game for people to work out what poems are bad, and which are fake poems written to be bad. "Whether McGonagall knew exactly what he was doing or not we can't prove, but this culture existed that he was a part of and people who appreciated him were aware of this culture and enjoyed his work because it was similar to work that spoke to them." McGonagall never admitted to writing deliberately bad poetry, and maintained his persona as unintentionally hilarious until his death in 1902 at the age of 77. However, Professor Blair believes the reason for his poems' longevity is exactly this. "What marks him out is he's the only one who melded his personal and private lives," she said. "He was out performing his stuff, while other people wrote under aliases."


Great-great-granddaughter of “Scotland’s worst poet” travels to Dundee to see play charting his life

April 2 2018

The great-great-granddaughter of "Scotland's worst poet" travelled from Spain to see a show about her famous relative. Helen Stewart was at Dundee Rep Theatre on Saturday evening to see the McGonagall Chronicles — a new play charting the life of the city's legendary wordsmith William McGonagall. Her sister Ann Ross, who still lives in the city, was also in the audience for the dramatic re-telling of the life of the man who penned The Tay Bridge Disaster, among 200 other published poems. Helen's son, Steve McMurdo, even arranged for his mother and aunt to meet the cast after the show. https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/lifestyle/619254/why-mcgonagalls-chronicles-will-be-remembered-at-dundee-rep-for-a-very-long-time/ "I do like surprises," she said. "It was the first time in my life that I've felt famous. My son organised it without me knowing." Originally from Dundee, Helen moved to Spain six years ago and came home specifically to see the show. She said it was a moving tribute to her famous forefather and his "unique" way with words. "It was fantastic," she added. "It was also quite sad. Especially when he was getting spat on in the street. "As I get older I have become more interested in McGonagall's work. "When I was younger people used to ridicule him and say he's Scotland's worst poet, but I am proud of having him in the family tree. "A lot of people can be quite ignorant about him." Helen's interest in her great great grandfather's life has led her to become a collector of menentos, including an edition of the McGonogall Library Omnibus dating to at least the 1960s. It still has the price label for 17 shillings and sixpence - around 18p in today's money. And the family heritage has led her into some unusual situations. "When I was in labour about to give birth to my son, a doctor walked into the room, looked at my name (before her surname was changed to Stewart) and asked if I was related to the poet," Helen added. "That was a strange thing to happen at that time." She also recalled being pulled up onto a stage in Fife in 1971 and given one line in a play about the poet. The McGonagall Chronicles tells the story of the poet's life written in "almost rhyming verse". Born in Edinburgh in 1825, McGonagall moved to Dundee to be apprenticed as a handloom weaver. Among his most famous works are the Tay Bridge Disaster and the Famous Tay Whale.


Why McGonagall’s Chronicles will be remembered at Dundee Rep (For a Very Long Time!) 

March 23 2018

Ahead of McGonagall’s Chronicles (Which Will Be Remembered For a Very Long Time) arriving at Dundee Rep on March 31, multi-award winning writer/performer Gary McNair talks to Michael Alexander about his “love” for the notorious poet William Topaz McGonagall. He is the 19th century poet and tragedian of Dundee whose audiences threw rotten fish at him and who has been widely hailed as the writer of the worst poetry in the English language. But was William Topaz McGonagall genuinely bad or did he consciously adopt a style that enhanced his notorious reputation that lives on to this day? “It’s one of those things we’ll never quite get to the bottom of,” laughs writer and director Gary McNair who is bringing his show McGonagall’s Chronicles (Which Will Be Remembered For a Very Long Time) to Dundee Rep. “If he knew he was bad, he played his cards very close to his chest. “But it does create the question. “Some folk report that they saw him coming off the stage with a wry smile. There are also a few clues. There’s a few of his early poems which just weren’t very good – he gets worse and worse – but he re-writes his earlier poems in a more McGonagall style which are funnier and worse. “Either he perfected a style and had to re-write those things, or he wanted to live in the canon of generally accepted bad good work!” Glasgow-based Gary, 32, from Erskine, is no stranger to Dundee Rep. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgWQwX8UR34 The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland-trained drama school graduate was there in 2016 with Donald Robertson Is Not A Stand-up Comedian. Performed by McNair and Brian O’Sullivan, McGonagall’s Chronicles is directed by former Dundee Rep associate director Joe Douglas (Cheviot, Death of a Salesman, The BFG) with music by Frightened Rabbit guitarist Simon Liddell. McNair’s stories of the trials and triumphs of growing up in working class Scotland have toured the world to huge critical acclaim. But he admits it’s only a couple of years since he first became aware of McGonagall – revealing that the McGonagall poem that made him “guffaw” most is The Famous Tay Whale. “When I was doing Donald Robertson is Not a Stand Up Comedian a couple of years ago, it was all about this wee guy who was wanting to be funny but who was absolutely awful at it,” he says. “We took a lot of joy at how bad he was at telling jokes. “But he was getting bullied and whatnot. It was funny but a shame. “It sort of looked at our culture of Schadenfreude and humour as a bullying tool. “So I was in the middle of making that show when I met up with a pal in Glasgow and I was telling him about my favourite bad comedians, because I do love seeing terrible comedians. It’s a strange vice that I have! “And my pal said ‘you must know about William McGonagall?’ “I said ‘who’s McGonagall’? And he read me a few poems and I was instantly in love with the guy! “I went straight out and phoned my brother who has lived in Dundee for 15 years now. I said ‘do you know William McGonagall?’ He said ‘McGonagall? He’s the poet laureate of the Tay!’ “My brother then sent me McGonagall’s self-penned book – his questionable autobiography - and I never turned back from there!” Gary initially wrote a six minute “warm up” biography on McGonagall which has now been developed into the full McGonagall’s Chronicles. He describes it as “cradle to grave stuff” and says McGonagall deserves “love and respect” for “carving his own path”. “I suppose you’ve got to have a wee bit of confidence as a writer to do this,” he adds. “That has been the challenge. I’ve had great fun with it. "But the question is, ‘is my writing good enough that I can make it bad enough?’ "You see a lot of attempts at McGonagall online and they don’t feel like McGonagall. They just feel like a bad poem!” *McGonagall’s Chronicles (Which Will Be Remembered For a Very Long Time), Dundee Rep, March 31, www.dundeerep.co.uk POEMS *Gary McNair has provided The Courier with some special poems written in McGonagall style: 1.  - An Ode To Professor Stephen Hawking   It was on the 14th of March in the 18th year of this millennium That the world bade farewell to one of its greatest craniums He was often seen down the planetarium But sadly we’ll not be seeing any mair o’ him Raise a toast Charge your glasses at a lock-in Fly the flag at half mast For Professor Stephen Hawking He understood the universe more than most But he was a humble man who did not like to boast He didn’t need big fancy titles to prove he was right good Perhaps that is why he refused a knighthood He sold nearly as many books as Mantel and Gaiman Explaining the complex physics of time to the layman Famed for his mind and his electronic voice His cameo roles in popular shows like the Simpsons did make people rejoice It would have made people’s hearts heavy with dismay When he left this world in the month of March and on the 14th day It was a sad day indeed as he wasn’t the only one going He left us on the same day as Bullseye’s Jim Bowen ____________________________ 2. The Beast From The East   The good people of Scotland Were visited by a terrible snowy beast The storm which has been named The Beast From The East It snowed so much that when The Beast did blow Houses and cars were buried in snow And what’s even more surprising - The snow level just seemed to keep on rising Oh how The Beast did blow and how it did bray Freezing many Scottish rivers from the Clyde to the Tay Many cars and trains proved to be inferior When trying to drive through the snow from Siberia The storm did howl and seem to say That people would be best to stay In their houses For a couple of days People struggled to make a homemade feast When many of the supply lines ceased And it was hard to get egg, milk and even bread to make a piece The people all searched their freezers hoping they’d stowed away a quiche And if someone was to become deceased You may have struggled to get hold of a priest Oh how people wished they’d get released From the howling wind and snow from The Beast of The East No planes took off No trains were running But the white covered streets Were simply stunning —————————————— 3. Trump cancels visit to the United Kingdom   The President has cancelled his trip to the UK Because he doesn’t like where we moved his embassy He says this is the reason for cancelling his visit But many of us ask ourselves... is it? Perhaps he thought it wise to avoid the bad press Or the chance of his visit causing civil unrest and protest For we live in an age where feedback is immediate And many people of this great nation believe he is an eejit It would be easy for me to make fun of the man For his bewildering haircut or his satsuma tan Yes we could focus on these surface facts But I’d rather take issue with the way he acts He boils the blood of many good humans With the way that he openly disrespects women He calls the media fake news When they don’t agree with his narrow views And he certainly annoyed all and sundry When he tried to stop Muslims from entering the country Some say May should not have offered the place And that now he has cancelled, she has egg on her face For she had a chance to look strong and stable But in this simple task she is clearly not able Though his decision may not last ad infinitum This poet is glad he’s not visiting the United Kingdom. _________________________________________ 4. Royal wedding    Rejoice! There is to be a royal wedding For a great celebration the country is heading Which Royal is due to marry? It’s Her Majesty’s grandson, Harry Many people will be pleased to see Harry wed And they will hope it will help put his silly behaviour to bed He has often attracted bad press from the paparazzi Like the time he dressed up as a German soldier And though he will likely never wear the crown We’re all rather pleased to see him settle down And his bride, most beautiful to be seen Will be the newest relative of the Queen You may recognise her due to one main factor She’s been on the telly where she works as an actor She’s not the woman that plays Miss Marple She’s in that show Suits, and her name’s Meghan Markle To see a royal on their wedding day Will make many hearts feel merry and gay I dare say not even republicans would smirk As we will all be given a day off work