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Liverpool poets[1]


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Adrian Henri, Brian Patten and Roger McGough context (no poems directly analysed!)

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Liverpool poets[1]

  1. 1. The Liverpool PoetsAdrian HenriRoger McGoughBrain Patten
  2. 2. Liverpool in the 1960’sUS beat poet Allen Ginsberg: "the centre of the consciousness of the human universe".
  3. 3. ADRIAN HENRIROGER MCGOUGHBRIAN PATTENPublished ‘The Mersey Sound’: a collection of poems that was part of zeitgeist of Liverpool in the 1960s
  4. 4. The Mersey SoundThe Mersey Sound is an anthology of poems by Liverpool poets Roger McGough, Brian Patten and Adrian Henri first published in 1967, when it launched the poets into "considerable acclaim and critical fame".[1] It went on to sell over 500,000 copies, becoming one of the bestselling poetry anthologies of all time. The poems are characterised by "accessibility, relevance and lack of pretension",[1] as well as humour, liveliness and at times melancholy. The book was, and continues to be, widely influential with its direct and often witty language, urban references such as plastic daffodils and bus conductors, and frank, but sensitive (and sometimes romantic) depictions of intimacy.
  5. 5. “The kids didnt see this poetry with a capital p, they understood it as modern entertainment, as part of the pop-movement. “(Roger McGough)
  6. 6. Pop Poetry• The Liverpool Scene• The Liverpool Scene was a poetry band, formed around 1967, which included Adrian Henri, Andy Roberts, Mike Evans, Mike Hart (ex Liverpool Roadrunners),[2] Percy Jones and Brian Dodson. Four LPs were issued with Henris poetry heavily featured. The first one was produced by Liverpool DJ John Peel, who was then working on the pirate radio station Radio London. Despite his support, the album achieved little success, as did the other three. Public performances by the band included a (financially unsuccessful) 1969 tour[2] when they opened for Led Zeppelin. Henri was described in performance as "bouncing thunderously and at risk to audience and fellow performers, the stage vibrating out of rhythm beneath him." [1] The Liverpool Scene disbanded in April 1970.[2]• The albums were:• The Incredible New Liverpool Scene• The Amazing Adventures Of• Bread On The night• St. Adrian & Co., Broadway and 3rd• Heirloon (rarities and outtakes)• There were at least three "best of" albums and two non-LP singles Love Is/The Woo-Woo and Son, Son/Baby.
  7. 7. Accessible and for everyone...• Contemporary effect• It has been said of the 1960s: "the rebirth of poetry then was largely due to the humour and fresh appeal of this collection."[2] The book had a magical effect on many people who read it, opening their eyes from "dull" poetry to a world of accessible language and the evocative use of everyday symbolism. Leading anthologist, Neil Astley, describes how he had been reading the classic poets at school in the 1960s, and one day his teacher read from The Mersey Sound: "That woke us up."[3] The same experience is described by a freelance writer Sid Smith years later in a 2005 blog, looking back at his first encounter with the book in 1968, when again a teacher read from it:• “ The cover design was a psychedelic beacon flashing at the outer edge of our black and white lives. The times were polarised and solarised and this small book was impossibly exotic and esoteric ... During 1969 that slim volume was as well read as any of my Marvel and DC comics, space race enclyopedia or the Dr. Who annuals that never quite lived up to the show itself.• Of course I didn’t “get” most of what The Mersey Sound was about but that didn’t matter. It made me feel somehow connected to, well, whatever it was that I thought was going on out there in that wider, long-haired world that I intuitively knew I wanted to be part of.[4]
  8. 8. Performance Art YTonight at noon – Adrian Henri