Downriver by Sean O'Brien

Downriver

Sean O'Brien

Downriver is written from a Northern, beer and football, male perspective and contains wide-ranging, vehement poems about working class men's lives, sport and shit but also about cities, painting, being a poet, trains and old Labour politics. Some poems are hard to read, with obscure references, but worth the effort; others are lyrical sequences of songs and ballads.

Extract


Let's aim to chuck a few lumps back:
Now then Cockneys, eat this cack.
From Cockermouth to Withernsea,
The North - the North is poetry.

It means that we can't tolerate
The dim, the daft, the second-rate -
In poetry or politics -
This is the North and not the sticks -

from A Northern Assembly

Parallels
  • Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse
  • Kes - the film (also Kes by Barry Hines)

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