Poetry (including by other people)

Articles about poetry and favourite poems by others

Discussion - REVOLTING POETS: poetry in working-class and social movements

02/07/2017 - 13:00

A panel of three performing poets will talk about issues including: 1980s 'ranting poetry'; the misrepresentation of working-class poets; and rhyming solidarity from Poets on the Picket Line. There will be plenty of time for discussion, and our panellists may drop some rhymes as well.

Proverbs

In the 1790s, poet William Blake wrote 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell', which included 'Proverbs of Hell'. Here is a modern poem of proverbs ...

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If it ain't broke, it soon will be
If you want to get ahead, get yourself a trilby

A roast duck won't fly into the mouth of a peasant
No man is an island but some are a desert

This Poem is Sponsored

This stanza is sponsored
by a weekend bonanza
of two-for-one deals
on our easy-cook meals
from the town's happy eater
which has paid for its meter

All of its sponsors
have generously given
a big wodge of dosh
for their brand on its rhythm

A local disk jockey
has sponsored a trochee
(That's a tum-tee-tum beat
with some well-branded feet)

Verses from the First World War: Conscientious Objectors

Published in Solidarity 397, 9 March 2016

Once the Military Service Act come into force in 1916, men aged 18-41 had to apply to a Military Tribunal if they believed that they had a reason not to be drafted. The majority had health, work or family reasons, but 2% were Conscientious Objectors (COs): men who objected to military service because they objected to war.

War Poetry: Challenging the Nationalist Narrative

From its declaration of war in 1914, Britain’s ruling class appealed to patriotism to boost its support and its military recruitment. By 1916 both were flagging. On the pages of socialist newspaper The Herald, poets used verse to question both nationalism and the war’s aims. When the government asked men to fight for King and Country, was it shielding its true motives?

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