Moth is a poem by Michael Rosen.
DISCLAIMER: This is a transcript for a video of Michael performing the poem/book, not a transcript from the actual poem/book itself.
I wrote a poem. I think my first poem when I was about 16. It wasn't really my poem, uh... it's somebody else's that I pretended. Well I did- well there's this poet, wonderful poet called, DH Lawrence and he wrote a poem called, "Snake", he wrote another poem called, "Elephant", and he wrote another poem called, "Bat" and I thought that's so cool. Instead of saying, "The Bat" or "Bats" he just wrote, "Bat". So I thought, I'd like to write a poem like that and I called my poem, "Moth". The only trouble is... I've never seen a moth. So I thought... right I could take a poem, "Bat" because I do know about moths is there a little bit kind of furrier dark and go around at night just like that so... I could take the poem "Bat" wherever it says, "bat" I could scribble it out, write in the word, "moth". *chikaka* *chikaka* *chikaka* *chikaka* There it is, moth, moth, moth all in place like that, except for one bit where DH Lawrence puts the Italian word... for bat in it, and I thought well, that's probably not the Italian word... for a "moth". So I scribbled that bit out who knows what the Italian word for a "bat" is, "pipistrello"! Oh wonderful are you Italian... you're just pretending? That's great. Are you Italian? No?
D'you know, I know lots and lots of Italian, well actually, it's two words, apart from "bat". I know how to say, "con funghi". You know what that means? "With mushrooms"! Isn't that useful? I go to Italy, get out of the station, gonna go and buy my ticket, got up to the man at the barrier, "con funghi!" It's good isn't it? You see what you got your power and control over language like that, anywhere I go in Italy. You know you want a deck chair on the beach, you go up to the bloke on the beach, "con funghi!" Anyway, that poem called, "Moth" by Michael Rosen.
It was printed in the school magazine.
People looked at it and they went, this looks a bit familiar... looks a bit like their poet DH Lawrence and I went, does it? I wonder where that is? Some coincidence so,that's maybe roundabout the first poem I... didn't write.