10 November 1995

Francis Bacon would have enjoyed this

RUDYARD Kiplings If has been voted the nations favourite poem. But had the poll been taken among pig lovers the result could have been very different.

Leaving aside the inspirational pig poet Rudyard Pigling, whose immortal words "If you can hog the trough when all about you are missing out and blaming it on you…" have struck a chord in so many sties, there are some crackling good writers of the porcine persuasion who have an avid following and Henry Hogges collection of their works* is certain to be met with squeals of delight.

Whether it be the words of romantic poet John Squeaks or those of the proselytising Ralph Hogson the poems in this book are best spoken, or indeed sung, aloud. They will soon draw an appreciative audience.

For a mere scratching of what is on offer I give you this from the trotter of Robert Hedgepig:

Snuffle ye truffles while ye can

Old Time is still a flying,

And somewhere surely hangs the pan

That bits of ye will fry in.

Read this little book, laugh and perhaps weep, for its poets have long met the roasting dish or bacon slicer and all that remains of them is this cultural squeak. TG

*The Pig Poets – A Porcine Parody for Pig-Lovers!, by Henry Hogge. Harper Collins (£5.99).