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Tuesday 16 March, 2004

An ode to Jonny....

The Poet Laureate Andrew Motion has written a tribute to the England rugby team's World Cup triumph.

But answering complaints that he waited too long after the victory to release the work, Motion joked that one of his reasons was the difficulty of finding a suitable word to rhyme with Jonny Wilkinson's surname.

Motion got around the problem by ignoring surnames and referring to the England players by their first names only.

Barnsley Football Club's Poet-in-Residence Ian McMillan takes another approach. Here's his tribute to England's rugby win:

Oranges and Wilkinsons

Being a poet is a difficult task
Especially when people ring and ask
For a poem on Jonny Wilkinson
Oh, what were you thinking, son?
Cos a rhyme for blinking Wilkinson
Is going to take some milking, son?

Being a poet is a difficult thing
Especially when people ring
For a poem on a word that hardly rhymes
They give you ORANGE but you’d rather have limes
They give you SILVER that’s a rhyming crime
And ANCHOVY…well..I’ll take my time!

Being a poet I much prefer
Moon and June and fur and stir
Cat and Mat and Long and Strong
And Wilkinson seems to make my song
Easier to get completely wrong
It’s a lumpy word and it’s far too long!

But being a poet I won’t say no
I’ll jump in where most bards won’t go
My door hinge
Is coloured orange!
And my Anchovies
Are so damn’ chewy!
And my family silver
Yes my family silver
Er my family silver is…

But being a poet is a difficult task
I’ll pour a drink from my little hip flask
And adopt my rhyming poetry mask
And write a poem…just as soon as you ask!

Ian McMillan.

So, can you do any better? Can you find words to rhyme with "Wilkinson", and "orange", and "anchovy"? Or what about "Rooster Booster"? Click on the links above to hear Ian McMillan, Garry Richardson, and John and Carolyn's ideas, then send us your thoughts by emailing:

In the meantime, here are some listeners' efforts:

The name of Jonny Wilkinson
Has had excessive milking on
BBC radio and TV.
Our Celtic eyes all fail to see
The appeal of this poor English lot.
Have Ireland, Scotland, lost the plot?
But here's a result that we would kill for:
The Welsh with gold, the English, silver.

Geraint Davies.

O, anchor me, my anchovy,
Set sail upon a Chekov sea of pain and pleasure
Until the glass jar of destiny steals your small, salty, soul forever.

Dick Langford.

There is no rhyme for "orange"
I guess a word so foreign
Just doesn't fit our verse,
And "silver", even worse!

Colin Jordan.

Poor Fred Flintstone said to Wilma,
"we're nearly broke, we're out of silver,
in the larder, only anchovy,
I hate it, it tastes of muscovy
duck, it's foul, all fishy and salty,
I wish we could afford a balti,
I know I shouldn't moan or whinge
But I'd kill just for an orange".
Wilma sighs and says "Don't worry,
let's blow our savings on a curry!"

Steve Thurlow.

Across the briny sea
Leaps the humble anchovy
Seeking nets, to aid gastronomy.
On pizzas he brings joie de v.
No revolutionary, no leader he,
How unlike Marx or Pancho V.
The humble little anchovy.

Trevor Dudley.

Your BBC tip Rooster Booster
It would only take a 3 legged moose to
beat it.

Mike Fallaize.

His sporting life by no means done, 
With that we’d all agree,
It shimmers still like silk in sun
(or oil on anchovy…?)
Yet still he strives to be the best,
At neither my nor your behest,
To please himself, that’s much more fun.
His name? It’s Jonny Wilkinson.

Dick Steel.

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