Speak Parrot by Rogan Wolf and John Skelton

“It is based on a wonderful and wacky poem written centuries ago by John Skelton, who was alive in the first half of Henry VIIIth’s reign – “Speak, Parrot”. Certainly a poem of protest then ; in fact he may have been risking his life in writing it. Amongst much else it was an attack on Cardinal Wolsey. Skelton played all sort of games in the poem, dodging and weaving, acting (?) scared, but getting more and more direct as the poem progressed.

“I have played games too, partly hiding behind Skelton as he hid behind his hints and erudition, but then getting more and more direct in my turn – until it’s a full-on diatribe aimed at Cameron at al, with Murdoch lurking behind. I use Skelton’s Rhyme Royal as well as his early kind of rap.  It would be nice if you could give it a bit of exposure before the election. “I pray you, let Parrot have liberty to speak !””

Rogan Wolf: “I run a project called “Poems for…” you might be interested in. Around two hundred poems available for downloading free of charge, half of them bilingual. They go mostly to schools but also to libraries, healthcare settings, etc. Funded mostly by Arts Council and NHS. But also by John Lewis Partnership and even at one stage by the Foreign Office!”

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