Benjamin Zephaniah

(15 April 1958 / Birmingham)

The British - Poem by Benjamin Zephaniah

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.

Comments about The British by Benjamin Zephaniah

  • Gold Star - 52,929 Points Kelly Kurt (4/7/2015 7:23:00 PM)

    This recipe will be complete in a century or two. I wish I could be around to savor it. (Report) Reply

    8 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • 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

  • Bronze Star - 2,142 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 - 0 Points Sallie Howson (6/6/2005 5:46:00 AM)

    wow what a powerful poem (Report) Reply

Read all 10 comments »

What do you think this poem is about?

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

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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