Roger McGough

(November 9 - 1937 / Liverpool / England)

Survivor - Poem by Roger McGough

Everyday,
I think about dying.
About disease, starvation,
violence, terrorism, war,
the end of the world.

It helps
keep my mind off things.


Comments about Survivor by Roger McGough

  • (4/30/2017 11:18:00 PM)


    Pessimism grips the mind in old age due to various factors and it is portrayed in this modern poem that may represents nuclear families and disrespect for the old. (Report) Reply

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  • (4/30/2017 12:27:00 PM)


    There's alot to think about! a ten..very funny.. (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (4/30/2017 7:34:00 AM)


    this poem introduces me to mcgough. it reminds me in its blunt force of poems by stephen crane, poems i think of as naked poems, which i appreciate for their brevity and directness.

    i've just read several of mcgough's poems in which he's direct and/or humorous. it's refreshing to read someone who cares little for and/or parodies being poetic.
    (Report) Reply

  • Lantz Pierre (4/30/2017 5:37:00 AM)


    Exquisite. Sheer elegance. A kernel of the existential moment. Your moment. My moment. Universality in a few words. We all understand what it is to let the mind stray. Or, conversely, to keep it focused. That thoughts that pass our consciousness from one moment to the next. Some controlled, some come of their own volition. We are all intimately familiar with the general scenario that McGough uses as the premise for this poem. But few of us would probably have set it in motion with those exact words, that set of facts, circumstances of the world. What words would you have chosen? You can only choose the ones you notice. So much of what we think flits by seemingly unseen. So, how then do you interpret the those mental scenes you are aware of? And are they concrete or just abstractions? Distractions, or the meat of your existence? Imponderables for each and every. Well, almost all. There are still those few commenters here who are wholly vacuous. (Report) Reply

  • Paul Brookes (4/30/2017 4:03:00 AM)


    Interesting that in barely 7 lines and 2 stanzas the guy manages to get you to think. Look at all the comments. This short work is pure genius simple you think then you read again the complexities build so for those of you who thoughts it was funny great it is and was but then you see its more sinister edge it bleeds into consciousness and you read more into it, finding subtleties and shading. Yes just 7 lines and 2 stanza and a world of interpretation (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (4/30/2017 3:59:00 AM)


    a sad poem of thinking of bad things and not doing any thing about it? that is what is wrong in the world to day there is too many thinkers? ........think again Roger! (Report) Reply

    Lantz Pierre Lantz Pierre (4/30/2017 10:29:00 AM)

    I think much of what anyone gets out of this poem depends on what they put into it. The subject of the poem states that he thinks about some pretty heavy, pretty distressing topics every day. The subject also states he has an alternative motive for doing so. The poem doesn't tell us anything about actions. That's for the reader to fill in. And that's where the real depth of meaning is.

    Personally, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about those things every day. Not on purpose. They inevitably color my day through contact with different media, but I wouldn't propose the statement the poem makes. The other things I think about somehow take precedence. So maybe that makes me selfish?

    I just love the open-ended source of meaning in this poem. It's a very difficult strategy to pull-off successfully.

    Tom Allport Tom Allport (4/30/2017 8:22:00 AM)

    the essence of this poem I think is one of selfishness? ......open to further comments?

    Paul Brookes Paul Brookes (4/30/2017 7:02:00 AM)

    I think you missed the point of the poem it is to get you to think and then do something about it to take it as bare fact is just not to get its essence but you have your opinion which is also very valid and you are correct just not about this poet

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (4/30/2017 2:39:00 AM)


    Everyday....... thanks for posting..... (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (4/30/2017 2:08:00 AM)


    The end of the world! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (4/30/2017 1:13:00 AM)


    A statement of being is not a poem.+++++1 (Report) Reply

  • Briony Nicholls (3/29/2016 9:55:00 AM)


    Haha! How so true & very apt. The poet might have been describing the need for the 24 hr news cycle as well in this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (1/4/2016 12:23:00 PM)


    It helps
    keep my mind off things. Very well thought
    (Report) Reply

  • B.m. Biswas (11/20/2015 11:33:00 AM)


    here is the truth told.....dear poet and the speaker we are shocked......a great document.................excuse me readers are cordially requested to read my incompletely complete and complete in this regard...thank you all. (Report) Reply

  • (3/25/2014 7:49:00 AM)


    I read the comments, and I see some of you talk about the humor, and the fact that you laugh when reading this poem. But what I can't see is the humor. I think this is a serious poem that in the last stanza says it helps keep my mind off things. and that makes the theme in the poem, the importance of global challenges. and that it makes every other problem and challenge small compared to global challenges that we face every day. In the song When we stand together by Nickelback they say that we can just turn of the TV and move on in our everyday lifes and don't even care about the wars an casualties happening in counties far away. We don't think about that the civilians in those countries have to live with war going on all around them all the time. We could feed a starving wold with what we throw away. But all we serve is empty words also says something about the western culture and our luxury compared to many countries and people living in poverty. What if you were living in poverty in a county drowning in wars and didn't have enough food to feed your family, seeing your friends die fighting for your country or religious belief, wouldn't you be jealous of the people living in peace in wealthy countries? (Report) Reply

  • (11/16/2013 8:52:00 AM)


    We humans often have very narrow perspectives. We are concerned with our own little problems. The person in the poem mention global challenges. And that he uses to think about these in order to get his mind of things. He´s very selfish, living in his own little bubble not able to lift his eyes in order to see things in a wider perspective. (Report) Reply

  • (8/9/2012 7:03:00 PM)


    Im litterally rolling over myself laughing at this one, through the shear morbidness of the subject Mr McGough talks about critical issues and how they are reduced to a farce because the human mind can not think of the bigger picture

    It reminds me of a quote (I forget who) people will get upset over the death of one person but 6 million all they will do is shrug. this poem reminds me of that statement
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/15/2009 1:56:00 PM)


    Hi everyone, I have only just happened upon this sight. Loved Survivor! The depressing lines were overcome by the humour. Made me look forward more to dying, now that's when you can really start to live! I think it's fantastic being so lucky, even though if I had a swimming pool, it would probably go on fire! (Report) Reply

  • (1/30/2006 10:12:00 AM)


    great isn't it? ................ (Report) Reply

  • (12/16/2005 2:55:00 PM)


    it is a slice of real life displayed here, how often am i overwhelmed by the immediate, the electric being turned off, not enough to feed my family of six, four bald tires on an ’82 Renault, and to top it all, being made redundant. Those are things that weigh one down. (Report) Reply

  • (11/8/2005 11:41:00 AM)


    I'm sure I wrote this, this morning. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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