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It is not the cruelty of children that angers me,

But that my hesitation to commit the word to air,

And, aye, maybe, to the ear, the heart, was treated as an affliction

By those with the polished shoes and starched aprons which set them apart;

Sometimes, I was not even there when they mocked me but I knew

What they did and ‘never-a-bother-it-was-to-me’. Except it was, 

I was brought up to be brave but inside I was bruised and battered,

Young only young.


I tried to pity my accusers: so narrow of soul, so clipped of speech, so incapable of reach.

I had my brother Pete, now so-long dead, and my sisters two,

Us council estate kids, we mocked the rich kids

Knowing how little they knew. If an aged man is but a paltry thing,

A tattered coat upon a stick,

This son-of-an-orphan remembers it:


Granddad Jack who’d been a machine gunner

On the Somme in 1916

He didn’t say much: smoked Woodbines, didn’t read books,

Denied every pitying look, every cutting word, every condescending bending of the neck.

The centuries of insincerity that have delineated class relations

In this fucked-up country: John Clare, William Blake and Charlie Dickens

I write it out in a verse

Differently-abled stutterers, terse.


We poets arise from the dirt

From the same class that I feel an unending commitment to

The dispossessed, the prisoners, all the spice-island-rough-traders:

This vast, inglorious shipwreck of life’s esteems.

The Truth About Stutterers: Can Everyone Who Stammers Overcome The ...

◄ A lamentation

So, heavenly ►


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M.C. Newberry

Sat 4th Apr 2020 12:08

I think it may be true that "class" can be delineated not so much
by perceived wealth but how a person speaks and holds a conversation. The theme was picked up in exemplary fashion by
the American lyricist Alan Jay Lerner in his words for the song "Why Can't The English" (Teach Their Children How to Speak) in "My Fair
Lady", the famous stage musical adaptation of GBS's "Pygmalion".

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Hannah Collins

Sat 4th Apr 2020 08:28

Very powerful.


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Sat 4th Apr 2020 07:56

You can say that again... no pun intended... well perhaps.

I could not share the bed with you, John.

I had to close my eyes to your words and listen with eyes closed to see the lyrics. (Great song!)

Two for the price one here my friend!

I am but a man... “Two things at once it is I can not do”

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