The British Poem by Benjamin Zephaniah

The British

Rating: 3.6

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.

The British
Andrew Davids 20 October 2012

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.

53 116 Reply
Sally Plumb Plumb 23 July 2010

Are you trying to tell me something? Am I not English anymore.

60 102 Reply
Dinos Mahoney 07 January 2011

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

52 80 Reply
Bill Thomas 08 February 2008

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.

84 46 Reply
Ijanric Howe 30 July 2009

Such a good analogy!

75 50 Reply
Drkgbalakrishnan Kandangath 20 January 2023

Love it! Congrats!

3 2 Reply
asdasda 15 June 2022


2 11 Reply
Oscar Tey 08 June 2022


2 4 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 12 December 2021

Super ranking poem on many matters in all visions, politics, disciriminations amongst races, and so on, sublimest told, I have enjoyed very much this Modern Poem Of The Day, Most deserving, dear Great Poet!

5 0 Reply


1 6 Reply
Error Success