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Fergus McGonigal

Updated: Sun, 23 Aug 2015 10:46 pm

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I've been a full-time performance poet since summer 2013, after leaving twenty-one years of teaching behind. A former Worcestershire Poet Laureate (2014-15), my debut collection, 'The Failed Idealist's Guide to the Tatty Truth', was published by Burning Eye in 2014. I host Worcester SpeakEasy, the monthly spoken word gig for the Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe - 2nd Thursday of each month, and listed in the Write Out Loud Gig Guide. As well as performing poetry, I work for Poetry on Loan in libraries throughout the West Midlands, The National Trust at Croome Court, and run workshops for Worcester Museums.


What’s in a Word? Pity the person who eschews the long word, For fear of appearing a geek, freak or nerd. Their words will be short, never sesquipedalian, The polysyllabic to them is quite alien. Their lines never stretch, they are taut, not elastic. They’ll never enjoy being iconoclastic, Rumbustious, exceptional, verisimilitudinous, Perspicacious, efficacious, or even platitudinous. Long words make them sick, but sick, and not bilious. They like to be right, but that’s right, not punctilious. They don’t talk a lot (they’re afraid of loquacity), Those who only trust words of limited capacity. Which is all very well, but… A word’s just a word, whatever its size, And sometimes “stupefaction” works better than “surprise”. Long words don’t always spell out obfuscation, And it’s fun to indulge in long-word-fascination. A sesquipedalianist’s simply inquisitive, Semantically broad, verbally acquisitive. So let’s lead a euphoric, cock-a-hoop celebration, And make this a sesquipedalian-nation. We’ll start with some floccinaucinihilipilification.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

Viewed 3373 times since 25 Feb 2011

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andy n

Wed 16th Mar 2011 08:16

I'm in the same boat as Winston here with this piece, Fergus.. Got a cracking title too which is always a good thing with poems I find too! lol

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winston plowes

Mon 14th Mar 2011 10:19

Hi Fergus.. Like the phenomenon of the unruly child. I rarely adopt a snobish position but have I think caught myself doing this under these circumstances. Looking forward to seeing more. Win

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Winston (Admin)

Mon 14th Mar 2011 10:10

Hi Fergus, sorry for the delay. Welcome to WOL. Hope you enjoy interacting with the site. Winston

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