Bowing and scraping

19 August 2017

9:00 AM

19 August 2017

9:00 AM

In Competition No. 3011 you were invited to submit a disgustingly flattering poem in heroic couplets in praise of a contemporary person of power.

You were at your bootlicking best this week: Donald Trump, Anthony Scaramucci, Xi Jinping, Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin were all on the receiving end of some serious sucking-up. Bill Greenwell’s tribute to Justin Trudeau caught my eye: ‘When all around you, everyone’s a pseudo,/ How gracefully you rise, dear Justin Trudeau…’. As did David Silverman’s love letter to Kim Jong-un: ‘How do you solve a problem like Korea?/ Ask Kim Jong-un, he’s sure to make it clear.’ Closer to home, Alan Millard and John Whitworth lavished praise on little old me: ‘Our brows adorned with true poetic sweat./ Sweet Lucy, we are ever in your debt!’

Other masterclasses in sycophancy came courtesy of A.K. Colam, S. O’Shea, Joe Conlon and Joe Houlihan. The winners earn £25 each. Hugh King takes the extra five pounds.

Not even Charlemagne, when at his height,

Could match your grandeur, majesty and might.

The Holy Roman Empire sought in vain

The splendour and extent of your domain.

From Padua to Plonsk and Pontypool

Eight hundred million souls enjoy your rule.

Yet poor, benighted Brits will not receive

Your masterly direction when they leave.

You’re famed for your urbanity and charm,

And only bitter cynics call it smarm.

Your clever leaks made Mrs May a clown:

What fun to kick a person when she’s down!

When Dave, before the referendum, said

He needed help, you smiled and shook your head.

And now the Brexit poo will hit the punkah

While you look on serenely, Jean-Claude Juncker.

Hugh King


With warmth and brilliance in his nature one

He shines upon us like a human Sun:

There is no Heart his radiance cannot reach,

No Mind resistant to his ardent speech;

Fire burns within him like a flaming brand

First sparked by Fidel then by Hugo fanned;

Ignited from that fire the torch he bears

In these benighted times more brightly flares;

From his iron grip it never shall be wrenched,

Nor shall its beacon blaze be ever quenched.

Proud to lead, yet humble in his pride,

He marches on with History at his side:

Man of the People and the People’s Man,

Theirs faith unbounded, his the glorious Plan;

His 2020 vision may come late

But God-like, he’ll create a perfect State.

W.J. Webster


If there is one pure light amidst the fog

Of vulgar acts and speech, it is Rees-Mogg.

He is a gentleman in every way,

In dress, in speech, as from another day.

His manners are sublime, his wit is keen,

His shoes are always polished to a sheen,

Across his brow his hair immaculate

No quiff or curl to mar its pristine state.

When all around him loudly disagree

His voice is one of ordered sanity,

So powerful yet modest in its tone

It could calm down a rabble on its own.

Rees-Mogg, you are the saviour of our race

When you in time will take the leader’s place

Then we shall live in safe prosperity.

Hail to your sober sensibility!

Katie Mallett


The fingertips of dawn enflame his hair;

An orange glow, as if Aurora’s flair

Wrings day from night; behold, a man of men

Who’ll make our doughty nation great again.

A connoisseur of pageantry and pomp,

He’ll build a mighty wall and drain the swamp;

Bad hombres, crooked bureaucrats — watch out!

A hero’s here, his mind and body stout.

This rusty-hided, pugilistic bear,

Abandoning his plush Manhattan lair,

Hath smote fake news and Democratic mobs

While pledging health, and wealth and steady jobs.

In time I’ll pen a biographic tome

In honour of his feats abroad and home.

So raise a glass, let’s toast the moment when

Our saviour makes the nation great again.

Paul Freeman


Great Prince, and even greater soon to be,

O’er myriad spheres you hold supremacy:

Your sage opinions and advice enhance.

Our architecture, public health, finance.

Your hands-on expertise in rural farming

Is proof that you are more than just Prince Charming,

While skilled promotion of the Duchy Brand

Reveals another skill at your command.

How well you bear the weighty royal yoke

Yet live as simply as we common folk,

You’re the epitome of majesty

Combined with self-effacing modesty.

Yours is the noble, moving, much-loved voice,

In awe, we watch you, hear you, and rejoice.

We long to see you come into your own,

Fulfil your promise on Britannia’s throne.

Alanna Blake


This man bestrides the narrow world and booms

Words that can waken corpses from their tombs;

He little cares for what the fearful think

And rises strong where lesser mortals sink.

He is no slave to foolish adulation

But bravely battles to defend his nation

And like a king sits on a powerful throne

Placing all states inferior to his own.

His wisdom is the legacy of years

Gained through experience of toil and tears;

A second Churchill, fearless and defiant,

He leads his country like a matchless giant

And having confidence in his convictions

He wins his wars, confounding all predictions.

God-fearing, glorious, great in every way

Trump is the true Messiah of today.

Max Ross


No. 3014: from me to you

You are invited to submit a love poem written by one contemporary politician to another. Please email entries of up to 16 lines to by midday on 30 August.


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