The Mersey Sound MOBI ã The Mersey PDF/EPUB ²

The Mersey Sound 'I wanted your soft vergesBut you gave me the hard shoulder' The Mersey Sound brought poetry down from the shelf and on to the street capturing the mood of the Sixties and speaking to real lives with its irreverent wry freewheeling verses of young love petrol pump attendants CND leaflets and bus journey capers Bringing together the hugely influential work of Adrian Henri Roger McGough and Brian Patten the 'Liverpool Poets' this perennially beloved volume is the bestselling poetry anthology of all time Now for its fiftieth anniversary this edition restores the original text of the book as it first appeared in 1967 energetic raw and a true record of its era

10 thoughts on “The Mersey Sound

  1. Alejandro Saint-Barthélemy Alejandro Saint-Barthélemy says:

    There is a poem in this collection that sums it perfectly fine Me by Adrian Henri It stars with the uestion If you weren't you who would you like to be? and after a list of dozens of artists ends up saying last of all me

  2. Ryan Ryan says:

    My Grandad was an evacuee from Liverpool Some bureaucratic cock up sent him to a family in Aberystwyth that spoke minimal English He spoke no Welsh Somehow it all turned out well he stayed married had two kids and opened a barber's on Eastgate Street The night he retired my brother and I were tasked with clearing out all the old magazines under the chairs It was a large pile he never threw anything away Some of the comics were still priced in shillings We even found a copy of Rolling Stone from the early 70s perhaps left by an American student decades before and forgotten The last thing to be picked up was a paperback It was this book'Who were the Mersey Sound?' I asked Grandad I assumed they'd been a band His thick woolly eyebrows knitted together for a moment then parted again'A bunch of twps dimwits Throw the tatty thing away'I never did read it Now I have So have entire generations of readers over a million copies have been sold to date When people speak of the Liverpool Poets even today arguments often follow Opinions about their achievement seem to rest uite literally on where you stand Call this simplistic but in my experience if you pronounce 'bath' as 'barth' you tend to think they were talentless louts cashing in on the Beatles' success; the prolier than thou forefathers of hack spit Performance Poetry If you pronounce it 'bath' you're likely to see them as a breath of fresh air crackling with youthful vitality free of affectation hell bent on mending the ruined bridge between poetry and the reading publicIt must have seemed radical at the time The poets’ subjects were jazz having a good time girlfriends fish and chip shops bus conductresses coffee bars and dotty aunts Many poems read like unfinished songs Adrian Henri's in particular Songs and poems are similar but they’re not the same Poems needs to work on the page before they work their magic anywhere else I rate Henri the least of the group though 'Love is' stands out Roger McGough is by far the most polished poet and boasts the widest range His work rarely larks about and is that rare thing in British poetry genuinely moving Two poems 'Sad Aunt Madge' and 'Snipers' He knows damn well he's still at war just that the snipers aren't Japs any' are wonderful They tell a story; they immerse you deftly but completely in ordinary lives 'Let Me Die a Youngman's Death' has attained proverbial status in Britain If a classic is a work that endures then this poem alone outdoes Ian Hamilton's entire life's workBrian Patten is the most knowing poet which rarely plays to his advantage It's interesting to note how his better poems like 'A Talk with a Wood' and 'Travelling between Places’ are also his simplest and value feeling over mere second guessingSo were the Liverpool Poets necessary? I think so Were they a new direction or a cul de sac? Mostly the latter Did they write at least some poems that move that have lasted? Absolutely

  3. Keen Keen says:

    Published in the same year as fellow Liverpudlians The Beatles released the “Magical Mystery Tour” double EP which came on the heels of their landmark “Sergeant Pepper’s” Liverpool in the 60s was certainly a city bursting with culture and creativity A lot of this hasn’t dated well at all and is very much a product of its time and place which is both its strength and weakness No doubt it would bring warm floods of nostalgia rushing back for those who were there and remember but for younger generations or people not from the UK this could be a real head scratching puzzleHenri’s efforts seem to be nothing than a collection of forgettable mediocre musings which remind me of something you’d find scrawled inside the notes of a school pupil’s jotter Patten’s contributions appear rambling lengthy and unsatisfying I would say that Roger McGough on the other hand is a cut above the rest In particular the likes of “A Suare Dance” really hit home and made for good value but apart from that I didn’t find anything particularly notable or special about this collection

  4. Owen Townend Owen Townend says:

    I picked up on this collection after the BBC4 documentary Sex Chips PoetryI'm pleased to say that I am a firm fan of Roger McGough and have a newfound appreciation of Brian Patten but am sorry to say Adrian Henri does nothing for meWhile McGough and Patten are thoughtful and droll in their respective verse I found Henri's writing brash stilted in its list formats and creepy in its portrayal of schoolgirlsThat being said generally the shorter pieces had greater impact while the longer poems almost lost me entirelyAll in all though I can see why The Mersey Sound was so influential in getting poetry back in vogue and am pleased to find some of the verse timeless even half a decade onNotable PoemsAdrian Henri Galactic Lovepoem I love the idea of reaching out and switching planets offRoger McGough My Busconductor such a sad circumstantial story in verseBrian Patten Interruption at the Opera House the frantic beginning gripped me and the social ending made me smile

  5. Simon Fletcher Simon Fletcher says:

    Well what can I say about this collection of poems? Other than reading this is half a day of my life I'm never getting back not muchBeing dyslexic has meant that I've always had to work hard to try to understand poetry the rhyme rhythm and meter is often difficult for me to fully grasp It's meant that poetry has always been my least favourite literary form That said I've always tried to read at least one book of poetry a year as I've always felt that whilst I may not always get it I should at least try So when I saw this in Waterstones I thought I would give it a go I was aware of McGough who isn't but didn't really know of either Henri or Patten so this was a walk into the unknown for me Boy do I wish I'd left this on the bookshelf I really don't see how this collection ever became one of the best selling poetry anthologies of all time Most of the poetry is infantile and reminiscent of what a 15 year old might have written To say that everything here is bad though would be unfair as there are some enjoyable and thought provoking poems particularly Henri's Me and Tonight at Noon and Mcgough's A Suare Dance but there are far too few of them to really make this anything than a grind to readWill I give poetry another go? Possibly but not for a while after this

  6. Robin Helweg-Larsen Robin Helweg-Larsen says:

    Three poets publishing in the 60s with all the flavour of John Lennon Here are the beginnings of three of their poemsLove is feeling cold in the back of vansLove is a fanclub with only two fansLove is walking holding paintstained handsLove is 'Love is' Adrian Henrisometimesi feel like a priestin a fish chip ueueuietly thinkingas the vinegar runs throughhow nice it would beto buy supper for two 'Vinegar' Roger McGoughOn a horse called autumnamong certain decaying thingsshe rides inside me forno matter where I movethis puzzled woman singsof nude horsemen breechedin leather 'On a Horse Called Autumn' Brian PattenWell then how about these excerpts? Prostitutes in the snow in Canning St like strange erotic snowmenAnd Marcel Proust in the Kardomah eating Madeleine butties dipped in tea 'Liverpool Poems' Adrian Henrifor in the morningwhen a policemandisguised as the suncreeps into the roomand your motherdisguised as birdscalls from the treesyou will put on a dress of guiltand shoes with broken high idealsand refusing coffeerunallthewayhome 'Comeclose and Sleepnow' Roger McGoughOr when I'm 104 banned from the Cavernmay my mistresscatching me in bed with her daughter fearing for her soncut me up into little pieces throw away every piece but one 'Let Me Die a Youngman's Death' Roger McGoughSo they didRight there among the woodbines and guinness stainsAnd later he caught a bus and she a trainAnd all there was between them thenwas rain 'Party Piece' Brian PattenHumour chaos sex nostalgia youth poverty and endless wit

  7. David Campton David Campton says:

    Since this anthology was originally published 50 years ago this year I thought I would at long last get around to reading this charity shop purchase It was forged in the decade I was born in and so the culture around it was in the background as I grew up but the Belfast of my childhood was primarily shaped by the political troubles rather than pop culture and despite supporting one of its Liverpool's two football teams all my life it is a city I don't know at all But the similar industrial and cultural histories of Liverpool and Belfast only separated by the Irish Sea and a childhood memory of Roger McGough and The Scaffold singing Lily the Pink suggested I might find an easy way in to the poetry within its pages and whilst the language and cultural references were accessible too much of all three poets' contributions were disappointingly adolescent in tone or worryingly spoke of a prolonged adolescence obsessed with nubile young women The poems aren't without merit but sadly nothing here will live on in my memory as long as Lily the Pink

  8. Jay Jay says:

    Still my favourite collection of poetry that's ever been published To be read aloud or enjoyed privately there's a depth of love and warmth to all of these poems Humour flows through nearly every piece and drapes the collection in the joi de vivre the period they were composed in so espoused There's something slightly beyond that however a slightly hungover world weary need I think that and the presence of the city is often overlooked in these poems But I can't really expand on how much I love this set of poems Poetry for the masses

  9. Ben Ballin Ben Ballin says:

    Every generation has poetry that it considers its own As a teenager growing up in Cardiff this was the volume that felt like it was mine poppy edgy at times accessible and anti establishment like the music of The Beatles Lennon Dylan Bowie or the soon to follow punk explosion though gentler and less abrasive than the latter I revelled in the sensational surrealism of Adrian Henri the wit of Roger McGough wasn't uite sure what to make of the less showy Brian Patten Of course we had other poets Eliot Dylan Thomas and so on but they belonged to everyone These belonged to usForty years on McGough is the avuncular voice of poetry on Radio 4 Henri is no longer with us and Patten still writes for both adults and children Revisiting these familiar works I find my teenage preferences have reversed Henri now looks showy sensationalist capable of great lines and striking images 'I Want To Paint' but also of naive political posturing His obsession with teenage schoolgirls now that I'm no longer a teenage schoolboy seems than a little creepy McGough's witty lyrics have fared or dated better I think 'You and Your Strange Ways' is still disturbing; 'My busconductor' 'At lunchtime' and 'Sad Aunt Madge' tell everyday stories with humour empathy and pathos; 'Why Patriots Are A Bit Nuts In The Head' tempers polemic with Goonish humour I had forgotten the short poem 'On Picnics' which is concise but brilliant in its treatment of First World War remembrance But it is Patten's understated lyricism that I now find most nourishing my teenage mind found it slightly boring to be honest Poems like 'Party Piece' 'Travelling Between Places' or 'Room' tell oddly haunting stories where the reader's imagination fills in the gaps between words and images There's humour there 'The River Arse' and politics too but a poem like 'Schoolboy' feels resonant sparsely emotional authentic Hinting at the depression that 'The Beast' spells out explicitly and with brutal honesty

  10. Billy Blake Billy Blake says:

    For those of us who were born too late this anthology conveys the mood of Liverpool in the 60s a happening period for popular music visual arts literature and performanceRefreshing iconoclastic the Merseybeats performed poetry in pubs Their poems dealt with everyday experiences in the 60s they spoke the language of the times I guess we owe a great debt to the Mersey poets for breaking a host of cultural taboos on what could and could not be put into poetryThe subjects dealt with veer all over the place from tales of young love concerns of a nuclear apocalypse to Biffo the Bear and Batman and Robin Humour is mixed with melancholy and dystopia uite a few of the poems make use of contemporary song formsI look forward to reading poetry from both before and after the 60s and probably only then will I be able to fully appreciate the influence of the Mersey poets and this book

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