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National Trust - Poem by Tony Harrison

Bottomless pits. There's on in Castleton,
and stout upholders of our law and order
one day thought its depth worth wagering on
and borrowed a convict hush-hush from his warder
and winched him down; and back, flayed, grey, mad, dumb.

Not even a good flogging made him holler!

O gentlemen, a better way to plumb
the depths of Britain's dangling a scholar,
say, here at the booming shaft at Towanroath,
now National Trust, a place where they got tin,
those gentlemen who silenced the men's oath
and killed the language that they swore it in.

The dumb go down in history and disappear
and not one gentleman's been brough to book:

Mes den hep tavas a-gollas y dyr

'the tongueless man gets his land took.'

Comments about National Trust by Tony Harrison

  • Bronze Star - 2,604 Points Raynolds Moseamedi (9/3/2018 6:40:00 PM)

    What a beautiful poem, I love it, thank you for sharing. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 645,943 Points Bernard F. Asuncion (1/19/2018 12:30:00 PM)

    Such an interesting poem by Tony Harrison👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

    5 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 61,121 Points Glen Kappy (1/19/2018 7:43:00 AM)

    In the first line, it looks like it should be one not on.

    As to the content of the poem, we learn one more time it wasn’t only Nazis who did deplorable and inhumane experiments on people and that the haves get away with crimes on the have-nots. Here in America, if it’s on or near the places of the poor, sure, let’s do our dumping there. But never get near the tended gardens or the houses of the rich. -GK
    (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 31,425 Points Deepak Kumar Pattanayak (1/19/2018 4:37:00 AM)

    Tussle between the custodian and the culprit magnificently portrayed in this poem.........outstanding........
    thanks for sharing
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 221,594 Points Susan Williams (2/23/2016 3:47:00 PM)

    He jumps right into his argument.. by giving us a picture of the dreadful abuse of a convict. This convict is used for measuring the depth of a shaft: If that's not bad enough, he writes Not even a good flogging made him holler! ”. The poem then shifts to scholars.
    The convict could not protest against the action of “stout upholders of our law and order” and Harrison links his situation to the situation of the tin-miners of Cornwall whose language was stolen and who were coerced to join the National Trust. The people of Cornwall were tongueless not just because their language was stolen but also because no scholar spoke for them just as no scholar wrote about the convict. The historical annals we have are written by the privileged. Harrison uses the story of the convict and of the people of Cornwall as an instance of the abuse of people “by those with the power to control the means of collective expression and self-definiton”. Thus the title of the poem does not stand only for a business entity but also for the trust that scholars and the ruling class betrayed by degrading the lower class. {https: //]
    (Report) Reply

    34 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 86,983 Points Savita Tyagi (2/23/2016 9:17:00 AM)

    Toungless man gets his land took. So true. (Report) Reply

    7 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 234,537 Points Mohammed Asim Nehal (2/23/2016 3:07:00 AM)

    Nice poem, thanks for sharing... (Report) Reply

    10 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 698,401 Points Edward Kofi Louis (2/23/2016 12:35:00 AM)

    But to learn first. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Rookie Michael Shepherd (10/15/2005 3:48:00 PM)

    Webmaster: check spelling in lines 1 and 14 please (Report) Reply

    6 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
Trust Poems
  1. 1. National Trust
    Tony Harrison
  2. 2. The Gardener Xxvii: Trust Love
    Rabindranath Tagore
  3. 3. Trust Is..(Please Forgive Me)
    Erin Thomasz
  4. 4. I Trust In Jesus
    Michael P. Johnson
  5. 5. Scared To Trust
    Amy Kerswell
  6. 6. Trust In Me
    terry bonam
  7. 7. Small Is The Trust When Love Is Green
    Robert Louis Stevenson
  8. 8. Trust In The Unexpected
    Emily Dickinson
  9. 9. Trust
    Antwan Graham
  10. 10. A Question Of Trust? *
    Alison Cassidy
  11. 11. To Live Merrily, And To Trust To Good Ve..
    Robert Herrick
  12. 12. Trust
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  13. 13. The Trust
    Robert William Service
  14. 14. 0420 Trust Nature
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  15. 15. Trust Trust
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  17. 17. Trust In God
    Charles Harpur
  18. 18. Bond Of Trust
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  19. 19. Trust....
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  20. 20. (373) Trust In………..
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  21. 21. Sonnet: Have Trust/Faith In God
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  22. 22. Trust Me
    Victor Osorio
  23. 23. An Issue Of Trust
    Noemi Lee
  24. 24. Know God Trust God
    Cecelia Weir
  25. 25. Never Trust A Woman!
    Mary Nagy
  26. 26. Trust
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  27. 27. (609) Betrayed Trust
    Melvina Germain
  28. 28. Trust
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  29. 29. I Trust Jesus.......
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  30. 30. Trust
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  31. 31. Hope, Trust And Time.
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  32. 32. I Trust You
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  33. 33. Trust No One But Yourself!
    Mahfooz Ali
  34. 34. Trust Is What We All Seek
  35. 35. Trust You, Trust Me
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  36. 36. Trust
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  37. 37. Trust
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  38. 38. Trust
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  40. 40. Trust
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  41. 41. Someone You Can Trust
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  42. 42. Trust
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  43. 43. Trust Me
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  44. 44. Faith Of Trust
    Dr subhendu kar
  45. 45. Trust Me And I Promise
    Kat Mercado
  46. 46. Trust When Intense
    Dr subhendu kar
  47. 47. Sonnet: Trust God Always
    Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
  48. 48. Two-Way Trust.
    Fay Slimm
  49. 49. Trust And Betrayal
    Suzy Skoda
  50. 50. 'Trust In Him'
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Trust Poems

  1. The Gardener Xxvii: Trust Love

    "Trust love even if it brings sorrow. Do not close up your heart." "Ah no, my friend, your words are dark, I cannot understand them." "Pleasure is frail like a dewdrop, while it laughs it dies. But sorrow is strong and abiding. Let sorrowful love wake in your eyes." "Ah no, my friend, your words are dark, I cannot understand them." "The lotus blooms in the sight of the sun, and loses all that it has. It would not remain in bud in the eternal winter mist." "Ah no, my friend, your words are dark, I cannot understand them."

  2. Trust Is..(Please Forgive Me)

    trust is me telling the truth. trust is you believing me. trust is me not being afraid. trust is you not making me. deep down within, i hope real hard deep down within, i scream and shout deep down within, i cant help but cry deep down within, i think theres no way out for what once had has now been lost for that i blame myself for childish as this thought may sound for that long gone i sorely miss trust we had so long ago. trust which i destroyed. trust is what we need again trust to make us strong all i can give is a simple word...sorry all i can give is a simple thought...happiness alli can give is a simple all i can give is a simple heart i just need you to forgive me... without you i have nothing i want to give for rohan {19th October,2005}

  3. Scared To Trust

    Im scared to trust now. I had my trust broken many times before. I was left a broken girl. I still am broken inside. I simply cannot trust. Its not you its me. My trust cant be broken again. So dont ask me to trust Cos I cant do it. Im to scared to trust

  4. I Trust In Jesus

    Before this body turns to dust Before this world I leave Upon The Lord I’ve placed my trust Upon The Rock I’ll cleave I’ve placed my trust in Jesus Christ God’s Son of flesh and bone The innocent Lamb sacrificed I trust His word alone I trust He chose for man to die Then rose again to reign That as God’s Seed He’d multiply His flock when born-again I trust His blood can cleanse the soul I trust His blood can save His very name can make us whole And save us from the grave I trust in Jesus’ loving care I trust He bore my shame I trust the love He came to share Remains today the same I trust the pardon Jesus bought Can save this wretch from hell I trust Salvation’s true report My Saviour had to tell Although the devil’s out to harm Though Satan’s he’s out to kill I trust my Lord’s almighty arm I trust His righteous will I trust my life to Christ The Lord I trust in Heaven’s Door I trust in God’s Almighty Sword I’ll trust Him evermore…

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