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Dave Morgan 
 

Bordeaux Agogo

         
British poets visit French provincial city,
The natives seem completely unconcerned,
But tanned expats and sundry anglophiles
Dig out the poetry they once learned,
Through choice or force, at school or university.
 
On Thursday night, the Cambridge Arms their first stop,
Busy and uncomfortably short of seats,
Eighteen poets crowd around three tables,
Performing Alan Ginsberg rather than John Keats
To generate a lovely noisy workshop. 
 
Paul their host and literary patron beams,
And keeps their glasses topped with stout,
As transatlantic accents rise and fall,
More and more attenders out
Themselves to realise their deep poetic dreams.
 
For this success it’s Caroline they have to thank,
A slender figure, elfin, wan and pale,
Barmaid, scholar, poet and aristocrat,
Though fragile looking she can take her ale
With the hardest drinking poet manqué.
 
And so on Saturday they’re at Malone’s,
A greater challenge with ever more distraction,
Guffawing locals primed to over-ride the readers,
Supported by a TV commentary on rugby action,
For which the alcohol and bonhomie hardly atones. 
 
Experience and perseverance o’erwhelm the Babel,
Three sessions each of nearly half an hour,
And lovely French and Polish contributions,
Encouraged by a core of twenty giving power,
To the forty poetic elbows on the table.
 
The night runs on until there is no crowd,
Just people sitting round accompanied by pipes and drum,
At four am the visiting poets sadly leave,
Reflecting quietly on what they’d done
And how they’d profited from “Write out Loud”.
 
So fuggled memories were etched on pickled minds,
They had no expectations only hope,
They owed success to poetry lovers of Bordeaux,
Who through their willing efforts helped them cope,
In this first poetic foray into foreign lands.  
 
 

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