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Peak Beard

My head full, I used to be hairy,

And a beard was my hirsute pursuit:

My styles of moustache used to vary,

And my stubble was thought to be cute.


I used to sprout elegant whiskers,

Or waxing (the old sense, I mean):

I might cut my beard like hibiscus,

Or dye the thing yellow and green.


I claimed on my beard with the taxman,

As a saving on shavers and razors,

But now even Jeremy Paxman

Has grown one. He’ll go to blazes.


Where bystanders used to accost me,

And offer me chocolate or sex,

They claim that they’ve looked and they’ve lost me,

Like shaven ones. I am their ex.


Life spins in cycle and circle,

Large will be small, and small, large –

A sage’ll prove berk, and a berk’ll

Turn out to be Nigel Farage.


There’s just no accounting for fashion

(Or money: just think of the banks).

I agreed, and with Nick, with a passion,

But now he’s peak beard and No Thanks.



Click here for a Guardian article


Click here to buy a copy of Bill’s poetry collection Ringers



Click here for Bill’s New Statesman research project













Peak Beard

Scientists in the University of New South Wales have found that beards come in and out of fashion as a means of attracting others. We are now, in their lingo, at 'peak beard'.

23 April 2014


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