Benjamin Zephaniah Poems
- The British Take some Picts, Celts and Silures And let them ...
- Talking Turkeys! Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas Cos' ...
- Dis Poetry Dis poetry is like a riddim dat drops De tongue ...
- White Comedy I waz whitemailed By a white witch, Wid white ...
- Nature Trail At the bottom of my garden There's a hedgehog ...
- The Race Industry The coconuts have got the jobs. The race ...
- We Refugees I come from a musical place Where they shoot me ...
Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is a British Jamaican Rastafarian writer and dub poet. He is a well-known figure in contemporary English literature, and was included in The Times list of Britain's top 50 post-war writers in 2008.
Life and Work
Zephaniah was born and raised in the Handsworth district of Birmingham, which he called the "Jamaican capital of Europe". He is the son of a Barbadian postman and a Jamaican nurse. A dyslexic, he attended an approved school but left aged 13 unable to read or write.
He writes that his poetry is strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls "street politics". His first ... more »
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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
Combine with some Guyanese
And turn up the heat.
Sprinkle some fresh Indians, Malaysians, ...