The image is of my poetry book 'What Are You After' which has a blue and orange cover.

Two poems from my book

I’ve shared a couple of poems from my poetry book on Twitter recently because the poems seemed relevant to different items in the news. Like many people, I was irritated by Dominic Raab’s criticism of Angela Rayner (in Parliament, during Prime Minister’s Questions) for attending an opera – Glyndbourne, in fact. For those who don’t know, at the time of his criticism, Raab was the deputy leader of the Conservative Party, and Rayner his counterpart for the Opposition (the Labour Party). Rightly, there’s been plenty of condemnation for Raab’s snobbery, and for his implication that Rayner, who’s from a working class background, is somehow not permitted to pursue what Raab evidently believes is strictly a middle and upper class pursuit. I’ve come across attitudes like this many times before although I’m amazed that people still hold these old-fashioned views about class in the 21st century. It was my exasperation with how working class people are sometimes publicly spoken about and represented in popular culture that lead me to write my poem ‘Working Class Poem’, first published in Under the Radar magazine and then in my book What Are You After? (Nine Arches Press, 2018). I’m from a working class background myself and I have an interest in many cultural pursuits, especially literature, theatre and film, but also music and opera. To be honest, I’m interested in all culture and would never turn down the chance to engage with something cultural, if I could afford the ticket price.

Anyway, here’s a link to the poem:

The other poem I’ve shared, something completely different, is ‘Falling in love while watching The Godfather‘ which I tweeted because I heard that the actor James Caan had died. I had a huge crush on Sonny Corleone (played by James Caan) when I first watched The Godfather as a young teenager, and I wrote this poem about it. Click into the poem below to read it in full.

I should mention that Nine Arches Press, the indie press who published my book, is currently offering free UK postage for the whole of July. Here’s a link to my book on their site.

In other news, here’s a pic of the nasturtiums in my garden which are doing a good job of looking cheerful.

The image is of bright orange and red nasturtium flowers climbing up a wooden fence in a garden

6 thoughts on “Two poems from my book”

    1. Always good to read your stuff, Josephine. I was once rebuked, de haut en bas, by a scion of the ‘aristocracy’ at Dunvegan Castle. I was writing a cheque’s expensive for 6 people to go in…..and asked him the date. “Don’t you know your history, man? It’s Trafalgar Day!” I still didn’t know the date. I wish (esprit d’escalier) I’d had a proper answer ready. As in, ‘ yes I know my history. I don’t know yours. You twat.’
      I was brought up in an extended family of millworkers, in a tradition of self-education and self-improvement. I resonated to your poem, mate.


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