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Poetry Wi’ Nowt Taken Out

Poetry With Nowt Taken Out

I'd like to start this week's post with a little bit of poetry, brought to you courtesy of Allinson Flour in their multi-award winning TV advert that launched their now famous tag line, “The bread with nowt taken out.” There are some fantastic photos of the Allinson Flour mill over on this website. I remember well the mills of northern England, including in the village of Birstwith where I lived until age 3, which had a cotton mill that then converted to flour, which I talk about in my poem, Pooh Sticks, which you may recall me mentioning in the Live Canon section of last week's post.

This will be my last post for this year, so I shall wish you all a very happy Christmas, hopefully filled with books and poetry and cake and mince pies. I'll be back, kicking off the New Year fresh as a daisy, with my Sunday 1st January 2017 post. Whatever New Year resolutions you plan on making, keep doing your poetry; keep submitting it to magazines and competitions, and sharing it with your poetry friends all around the world :)

And on that note I'll leave you with a Christmas poem I've dug out of my "old poems" folder. You might spot a line from the Allinson's advert appearing in it, so if you didn't watch the YouTube video at the top of this post, do so now :)

As Mr. Keating (Robin Williams) says in the film Dead Poets Society, “Language was invented for one reason, boys - to woo women,” which is, in essence, why I wrote this poem. In my first year of university in Swansea a girl (Karen, who I might have taken a shine to) in the room at the end of the corridor in my hall of residence floor, challenged me to write her a Christmas poem after I'd talked to her about my poetry (and written a first poem for her about some flowers, which had been purloined from the curry house that very night and which were duly Blu-tacked to her door along with the poem). At the time my family home was still up in Yorkshire so I wanted to include a flavour of Yorkshireness in the poem, so I used “nowt taken out” to that effect. One other thing I should explain is the last line, because apparently, as Karen told me, I said that an awful lot! Please don't be expecting a work of deep and meaningful poetic genius because I was only 18 and a half years old and had only been writing pretty simple poetry at that time and, to be honest, I didn't have anything more meaningful on my mind; to paraphrase Rufus from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, he does get better. :)

Pictures [December 1991, Neuadd Sibly, University of Swansea]

Yes! Once again it's Christmas time,
time to down the beer and the wine,
turkey for dinner, loadsa brussel sprouts,
all of the trimmings, wi' nowt taken out!

Fireside carols, roast chestnuts and a box
of chocolates for mum, whilst dad gets some socks.
The cat is asleep in front of the fire,
whilst the kids, still screaming, never seem to tire.

Cards on the wall. Lights on the tree.
Glasses of sherry. Star Wars on TV.
After Eight mints are eaten in the lounge.
Coffee and mince pies. Carol singers on the scrounge.

Snow on the pavement, icicles hanging down
from the gutter, and snowflakes fluttering all around.
These are the pictures of how Christmas, each year,
seems to be;

in actual fact,
it's quite funny really!

#Christmas #Poetry #Wooing #Flowers #Flour #Mills #Yorkshire #LiveCanon #Swansea #Blu-tack #AllinsonFlour

Published inPoetry


  1. Marie Monro Marie Monro

    Aw Giles, you sweet Yule log you! Merry Christmas! M x

  2. Giles Giles

    *smile* thanks Marie. Hope you have a lovely Christmas too 🙂 x

  3. Good luck with Christmas! Wi nowt taken out, even the sprouts…

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