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

  • Malabika Ray (6/22/2019 4:32:00 PM)

    Insightful poem with a great touch of humour! (Report)Reply

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  • (6/10/2019 7:23:00 AM)

    The fact that his poems are almost all are extended metaphors is great because he doesn't switch topic a lot (Report)Reply

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  • (5/19/2019 5:16:00 AM)

    ayyyyy! ! go Sri Lankans! ! (Report)Reply

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  • (5/17/2019 5:32:00 AM)

    I bet it tasted good, the Indian spices, and stuff, yum yum. (Report)Reply

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  • (4/28/2019 6:31:00 AM)

    Very interesting and cool at the same time (Report)Reply

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  • (3/5/2019 6:09:00 AM)

    Hahah very funny comrade. Now go to gulag, yes? (Report)Reply

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  • (2/19/2019 3:53:00 AM)

    ooofoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooggggggggggggggggggg (Report)Reply

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  • (2/10/2019 1:18:00 PM)

    trash lolololololololololololololol (Report)Reply

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  • (2/4/2019 7:37:00 AM)

    This sent me back to Defoe's True Born Englishman, to which this is a worthy follower (Report)Reply

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  • (1/22/2019 9:49:00 PM)

    Directions unclear, I made the Soviet Union. (Report)Reply

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  • (1/20/2019 10:49:00 PM)

    The genesis as well as the method of blending the ingredients is simply superb and thought provoking. A great poem creating unique humor. Enjoyed the poem. (Report)Reply

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  • Bernard F. Asuncion (1/20/2019 6:15:00 PM)

    I enjoyed this poem by Benjamin Zephaniah................. (Report)Reply

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  • Parameswaran Nair Damodaran Nair (1/20/2019 9:53:00 AM)

    A humour sprinkled good treat (Report)Reply

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  • (1/20/2019 9:43:00 AM)

    Although it seems slightly humorous, it carries a profound message to the world. Be it pragmatic or not, crux of the matter is the need to take all humans are equal in importance. Congrats on your positioning. Thanks for sharing. X (Report)Reply

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  • Glen Kappy (1/20/2019 9:36:00 AM)

    i like this! similar things—with some of the same ethnicities—may be said of the americans—and should be celebrated. the same note and warning apply. -gk (Report)Reply

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  • Rose Marie Juan-austin (1/20/2019 6:51:00 AM)

    A wonderful, insightful and humorous political write.
    Liked the closure lines that convey justice, equality and
    unity: wonderful attributes of democracy.
    Cleverly written.
    (Report)Reply

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  • (1/20/2019 5:55:00 AM)

    A thoughtful humorous write that is missing one main ingredient that of poverty? ....nice one Ben (Report)Reply

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  • Anil Kumar Panda (1/20/2019 5:37:00 AM)

    Very nicely crafted. Let the world be a single country and all be the citizens of that country. Thanks for sharing. (Report)Reply

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  • (1/20/2019 4:17:00 AM)

    Justice delayed is justice denied but yours is a profound poem on justice. (Report)Reply

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  • Mahtab Bangalee (1/20/2019 3:21:00 AM)

    finest poem with beautiful note and perfect warning (Report)Reply

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Read all 67 comments »




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



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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