26 February 2015

Poetry Thursday - "Sixteen" by Brian Patten


Sixteen, Rimbaud and Whitman my heroes
"PS I Love You" playing in the loud cafés
In a Canning Street basement Adrian Henri
Painting The Entry of Christ into Liverpool
Adrift in an attic, in an ark buoyant with longings,
A map drawn by Garcia Lorca open before me
There was nothing that was not possible
Nothing that could not be reinvented
Ah poetry, at sixteen
Words smelled of tulips and marigolds
Their fumes made sentences
That the bees stole for themselves
- Brian Patten, 1962 from "Jubilee Lines: 60 poets for 60 years" ed Carol Ann Duffy (via)

Brian Patten was born in Liverpool in 1946 and educated at Sefton Park Secondary Modern School. He began to attend and perform poetry at various Liverpool venues, during which time he met Roger McGough and Adrian Henri. In 1962 Patten began to publish his poetry magazine Underdog, in 1967, along with Henri and McGough he published The Mersey Sound, followed by his first major solo poetry collection Little Johnny's Confession. In 1970 published his first book for children The Elephant and the Flower. His many published works include various anthologies, including Love Poems (1981) and Storm Damage (1995), and works for children, as well as extensive writing for the stage, television and radio. He has won several awards and now lives in Devon. 
His archive was acquired by the University of Liverpool in 2007, with the archives of Adrian Henri and Roger McGough. It is complemented by manuscript and printed collections for other Merseyside writers, such as Matt Simpson, and such major literary figures of the 20th century as Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney.

1 comment:

Living to work - working to live said...

I was such a fan of The Mersey Poets. I have that book somewhere. ( truth be told, as a teenager I was just a teensy bit in love with them)