Longfellow cut short

In his ears
he longed
to hear Longfellow;
taught Tennyson,
Keats and Chaucer;

What chance he
in fuckin’ Barnsley
where language is
coal mine coarser.

© Copyright D. Archer October 2011

Apologies for the language but this was written in anger after I watched a young father tell his son who innocently picked up a second hand book “I’m not buying no fuckin books”. It is the language of my home-town I am a little ashamed of the choice language.

My heart sank, the father stood with a can of lager and a half smoked cigarette refusing to expand his sons’ horizon for the want of 50 pence.

It is also sad that I was unable to buy the book on behalf of the child for fear of getting my face kicked in. Such is the mentality of my home town. 

I don’t usually like colloquialism in poems but it does reflect the hard, ex-coal mining town that Barnsley still is; regardless of shiny bus stations and chocca-mocha latte coffees.