Peak Poetry Plaudit

More random musings from Fat Roland. On his mind this month (as far as we can tell) is Poetry

In the words of the great Rudyard Kipling, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, something something waffle waffle… you’ll be a flan, my son.” I guess that’s why he made exceedingly good cakes.

Poetry is one of our greatest art forms. Even more bestest than opera, ice sculptures and colouring books. Before Richard Branson invented vinyl records, there were only three possible hobbies. Number one: rolling a hoop with a stick down a coal mine. Number two: trying to win at hopscotch before your legs fell off from bubonic plague. Number three: being a poet like Keats or, er, one of the other famous poets. Essential accessories for an olde-timey poet included a quill, parchment, ruffs, smelling salts and
Anyone can produce a poetry pamphlet. Write a load of hot garbage about rivers and puppies. All in Comic Sans. Then hand-bind it with string and chewing gum. Call it something like ‘Gushing Feelings’ or ‘The Syphilis Diaries’. Make sure you proofread it. Publishing anything without having it profread first is so irrisponsable.

People into electronic music don’t understand poetry. I’ll give you an example. Give me a word that rhymes with Moog, the legendary synthesiser manufacturer. Rogue? Fugue? Droog? Kylie Minogue? No-one knows. We don’t even know how to pronounce Depeche Mode. There’s a reason why synthesiser keys only go from A to G. Any more letters and our brains would exploge. Er, I mean, explode.

Thank your lucky trousers for rhyming acts like Annie Lennox and Ultravox. Or Yello and, er, Devo. Or New Order and, um, oh heck, Giorgio Mor-order?! The ultimate stanza bonanza is the Mancunian techno act 808 State. 808 rhymes with State, and State rhymes with 808, and it also works upside-down so that’s four rhymes right there. They had a hit single called ‘The Only Rhyme That Bites’ which taught us to never put our finger in MC Tunes’ mouth.

I know, I know, poetry doesn’t need to rhyme. Sometimes it has words like “flange” and “kerfuffle”, the two most unusual words in the English language apart from “sigue”, “sigue” and “sputnik”. A sub-genre of poetry is visual poetry, where words on the page form patterns. It’s dead clever. If you squint at this column, the text will blur into a shape of a desperate idiot ranting at a laptop on deadline day. Just sublime.

I’ll leave you with the greatest rhyme in electronic music history. No, not The Human League matching “tall tall tall” with “wall wall wall”. Not even Snap! pairing “dancer” with “cancer”. The peak poetry plaudit goes to 2 Unlimited who rhymed “techno” with “techno” with “techno” and “techno”. A heartbreaking work of staggering genius. They should be writing this column.

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If our columnist had a time machine and went to 1988 and we pulled the plug out, accidentally, it would only take him 30 years to walk home from the past. Oh look, here he comes now…