Benjamin Zephaniah

(15 April 1958 / Birmingham)

The British


Take some Picts, Celts and Silures
And let them settle,
Then overrun them with Roman conquerors.

Remove the Romans after approximately 400 years
Add lots of Norman French to some
Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings, then stir vigorously.

Mix some hot Chileans, cool Jamaicans, Dominicans,
Trinidadians and Bajans with some Ethiopians, Chinese,
Vietnamese and Sudanese.

Then take a blend of Somalians, Sri Lankans, Nigerians
And Pakistanis,
Combine with some Guyanese
And turn up the heat.

Sprinkle some fresh Indians, Malaysians, Bosnians,
Iraqis and Bangladeshis together with some
Afghans, Spanish, Turkish, Kurdish, Japanese
And Palestinians
Then add to the melting pot.

Leave the ingredients to simmer.

As they mix and blend allow their languages to flourish
Binding them together with English.

Allow time to be cool.

Add some unity, understanding, and respect for the future,
Serve with justice
And enjoy.

Note: All the ingredients are equally important. Treating one ingredient better than another will leave a bitter unpleasant taste.

Warning: An unequal spread of justice will damage the people and cause pain. Give justice and equality to all.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
115 person liked.
32 person did not like.

Form:


Read poems about / on: justice, warning, respect, together, future, people, pain

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The British by Benjamin Zephaniah )

  • Rookie Andrew Davids (10/20/2012 6:34:00 AM)

    Mix in the Romans, make Britain more like Rome. Mix in the Jutes, make Britain more like Denmark. Mix in the French, make Britain more like France. Mix in the Nigerians, make Britain more like Nigeria. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Dinos Mahoney (1/7/2011 1:22:00 PM)

    Where are the Irish and the Poles? And London has a Greek language radio station, but no Greeks? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 494 Points Sally Plumb Plumb (7/23/2010 9:41:00 AM)

    Are you trying to tell me something? Am I not English anymore. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ijanric Howe (7/30/2009 6:30:00 PM)

    Such a good analogy! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ewa Espling (5/28/2008 2:04:00 PM)

    you have mix't it well: O) even from a swedish point of view......
    I enjoy reading your poems alot...And hope one day they become a reality... keep on going.. :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Bill Thomas (2/8/2008 5:32:00 AM)

    Wonderful stuff: as a history teacher introducing Year 7s to the waves of invasions from Romans to Normans, I find your poem sums things up brilliantly, not just the past, but where we are now, & where we should be going. Thank you. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Anam Rizvi (12/3/2006 11:29:00 AM)

    I wish that this dream you have spun right here comes true. I just hope there is a way to make this happen. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Reg Rachel (5/20/2006 3:34:00 PM)

    kwl-i wish i cud rite like that (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sallie Howson (6/6/2005 5:46:00 AM)

    wow what a powerful poem (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  6. For John, Who Begs Me Not To Enquire Fur.., Anne Sexton
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
[Hata Bildir]