Over 400 poets contributed 800 poems to celebrate Liverpool's 800th year. You can read them all here, just click anywhere on the picture of the Liver Building. Alternatively, you can select poems from a list
On the whole, I choose not to choose.
Roots proliferate too readily through
The soil of nation into violence;
Like the blighted tayters that dumped
Us here, starving, in the first place.
But, if I must, let it be ‘East-Mick’:
The inverse of Gregory and Yeats
In the big houses of the West Brits;
A stinking tenement and shoeless kids,
The rhymeless flesh of my flesh.
My father endured the taunts of ‘tick’
(From a man called Keenan) and wore
The name of ‘Paddy’ uneasily;
Yet would stiffen to the reel
And set his jaw for the camera,
As was taught him by his grandfather.
He would laugh at the Pier Head Irish,
Gazing out beyond the river’s foggy mouth
To a neglectful motherland, through eyes
Rheumy with drink and false memory;
Doing the math on the rounds and neatly
Balancing their cost against that to re-buy
The family farm. Yet he was in clover
To hear his name in The Irish Rover
And talked of cousins in Wicklow
With the requisite exile’s glow.
This celtic mestizo thing is awkward:
Fit to be called diaspora
And marketed in song, yet welcome
Back not really, if we’ve stayed away
Too long. Suspect enough for passport
Stamps to keep us at the docks all day
For routine questions as to where we stayed.
Quisling enough to Cromwell our pitch
In a gaeltacht pub in Ballynahinch.
But, if pushed by census, ‘East-Mick’ it shall be,
Though, on the whole, I choose not to choose.
With no guilt of empire and no Inisfree
I cannot win, though nor can I lose.
To we tried to get poem800 published in book form but with 800 poems we couldn't find a publisher, also it was too expensive for us to print ourselves via vanity press so we regret that we have been unable to get it published. But we decided to leave it published on the internet i.e. running with a random poem every day (at our expense) and if anyone has any ideas on how to publish please get in touch.
Finally if If you wish to make a donation to Zoe's place please follow their link below.
- All poems are protected by copyright and are not to be reproduced without permission.
- We hold no responsibility for the claimed authorship of poems.
- We will not enter into correspondence about any entry.
Pete Price Radio City 10.00 pm Sun - Thursday (read him some poetry!)
Claire Hamilton Arts and Culture Show Sunday 1-4pm Radio Merseyside
Liverpool Poem 800 is brought to you in association with the North West Disability Arts Forum
Zoe's Place Baby Hospice
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