Brian Patten

(7 February 1946 / Liverpool / England)

Brian Patten
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Born near Liverpool's docks, he attended Sefton Park School in the Smithdown Road area of Liverpool, where he was noted for his essays and greatly encouraged in his work by Harry Sutcliffe his form teacher. He left school at fifteen and began work for The Bootle Times writing a column on popular music. One of his first articles was on Roger McGough and Adrian Henri, two pop-oriented Liverpool Poets who later joined Patten in a best-selling poetry anthology called The Mersey Sound, drawing popular attention to his own contemporary collections Little Johnny's Confession (1967) and Notes to the Hurrying Man (1969). Patten received early encouragement from Philip Larkin.

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  • ''When in public poetry should take off its clothes and wave to the nearest person in sight; it should be seen in the company of thieves and lovers rather than that of journalists and publishers.''
    Brian Patten (b. 1946), British poet. "Prosepoem Towards a Definition of Itself."
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Comments about Brian Patten

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  • Rookie - 0 Points Brigie Murphy (6/21/2015 6:03:00 AM)

    Hi, I am doing one of your poems for my drama exam, it is... A SMALL DRAGON. I really like this poem

  • Rookie - 0 Points Afifa Ahmed (2/7/2015 5:55:00 AM)

    Please can I have the answer today as I need it for homework

  • Rookie - 0 Points Afifa Ahmed (2/7/2015 5:54:00 AM)

    What is the figurative language used in this poem

  • Rookie - 0 Points Phil Whiting (10/11/2014 5:51:00 AM)

    I always liked your poem, 'Going to dinner' but can't find it on this website. Thanks. Phil W

  • Silver Star - 3,435 Points Paul Sebastian (3/17/2014 1:17:00 AM)

    Dear Brian,
    Your poem, Nothing is Ever As You Want it to Be, is brilliant!
    Thanks.

    Paul Sebastan

  • Rookie Shatha Alsaadi (3/29/2012 1:44:00 AM)

    Dear Brian,

    How very nice to write to you and I remember that I was intyroduced to your poems when I was in Cambridge and I bought the little book which has great poems. I feel when read your poems, I feel the depth of feeling that I cannot fathom. I read YOU POEM Room which says:
    Room you're toneless now,
    Room you do'nt belong to me
    I want another room I want one
    without your tattymemories.
    Loads of Great wishes
    Shatha Alsaadi

  • Rookie Eric Toft (3/17/2012 9:20:00 AM)

    I believe we all have shared an emotion that Sir Patten has told. If we just admit it!

  • Rookie Vladimir Stojnic (4/11/2008 11:56:00 AM)

    I read poems by Brian Patten in serbian. They were brilliantly translated into serbian by writer David Albahari. My favorite poem is No taxi available. Can anybody post that poem here or give me a link to it. I would love to have that poem as original in english.

  • Rookie Anna Russell (9/9/2006 5:40:00 PM)

    There should be a law that states every human being should have to read at least one Brian Patten poem in their lifetime. Each piece is a gem all of its own. His writing is direct, funny, sad, beautiful and heartwarming, sometimes all at the same time. Never pretentious, always readable - to me, this is poetry at its best.
    Hugs
    Anna xxx

  • Rookie Lenchen Elf (1/8/2005 7:39:00 PM)

    I read and re read Brian Pattens work (this is just a tiny sample) and the sheer delight never fades. His poetry and stories for children are worth seeking out, if you haven't any children, borrow a class from your local school, just for the pleasure of reading the poems aloud and watching the faces shine.

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Best Poem of Brian Patten

And Nothing Is Ever As You Want It To Be

You lose your love for her and then
It is her who is lost,
And then it is both who are lost,
And nothing is ever as perfect as you want it to be.

In a very ordinary world
A most extraordinary pain mingles with the small routines,
The loss seems huge and yet
Nothing can be pinned down or fully explained.

You are afraid.
If you found the perfect love
It would scald your hands,
Rip the skin from your nerves,
Cause havoc with a computered heart.

You lose your love for her and then it is her who is lost.
You tried not to hurt and ...

Read the full of And Nothing Is Ever As You Want It To Be

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