A gammon's guide to poetry

AS A Wetherspoons daytimer and West Ham fan, you can trust me when I tell you poetry isn’t just for girls and Scots anymore. But before you write your Ode to Brexit, there’s a few things you should know: 

They should always rhyme

A poem isn’t a poem unless it rhymes. Ideally the first line with the second line, third with the fourth and so on, but if you can get every line to rhyme you’re really proving your skill. For example ‘shepherd’s pie’, could rhyme with ‘days gone by’ or ‘my granddad shot a Kraut in the eye’.

The best poems are about war and England

Women like poems about love, but they’re boring. The best ones are about universal subjects like the glory of dying in a war and how f**king great England is. The leftie BBC always has Wilfred Owen, who wasn’t even hard enough to survive the war, at Remembrance Day so I recite my own about happy trench life and the nobility of firing squads for deserters.

‘If’ is a great poem about not being a snowflake

Before Rudyard Kipling went off the rails by writing about foreigners in jungles, he came up with a cracking ditty about not being a smoothie-guzzling millennial. The basic premise is that ‘if’ you stop being a bleeding heart communist you might do our country proud. I’ve forwarded it to my unemployed nephew but haven’t had a reply yet.

Facebook is a treasure trove

Mainstream media won’t talk about it, but some of the great bards of our time are on social media, sharing their work in groups like ‘Remembering England as it used to be’ and ‘Rotherham High School 1967-68’. My mate Neil wrote one comparing migrants on dinghies to Nazi U-boats, but the local newspaper wouldn’t publish it because they hate free speech.

Address your heroes by name

The best poems are ones that could be recited directly to their subject. Add a line to your sonnet about taking Nigel out for a pint of bitter, or how you’d love to cook Boris a roast dinner with extra Yorkshire puds. I’m banned from sending my tribute poems to Priti Patel, presumably because they would have had to start paying me, but I’m confident there’s a Poet Laureate position coming my way.

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Manchester United nothing but bullies

THE Manchester United team who beat Southampton 9-0 yesterday are nothing but a bunch of nasty bullies, the Premier League has agreed. 

United racked up seven goals after their opponents had a man sent off in the second minute and a further two after a second Southampton player was shown a red card, which is basically cheating.

Football fan Nathan Muir said: “Those United players should be ashamed of themselves. Kicking a team when they’re down.

“Yes, they deserved the win, but there was no need to rub it in the way they did. That crossed the line from honest competition into abuse.

“For God’s sake, Southampton lost nine-nil to Leicester not two years ago. They’re only just getting over that trauma. How insensitive is it to come and do it again?

“I hope Manchester United woke up today appropriately remorseful for how they behaved. That Ole always seemed such a nice boy. I expect him to apologise and give four of the goals back.”

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “In the moment we got carried away and went too far, I realise that now. We promise not to score another goal for the rest of the season.”