Politics and Popular Culture

It is clear that most of my poems are either about nostalgia, getting old, or women. However, much as it sometimes seems to others that i'm some kind of cold, logical, android, who has no real views on anything and doesn't get involved in important issues, very occasionally i'll feel inspired to write a poem about some political issue, philosophical thought, or aspect of Pop Culture and Modern Society.

For the record, I'm a Liberal, but not a Pacifist!

Also included here are a couple of poems I wrote about the social group I used to be involved in. "Politics" works at all kinds of levels, and people everywhere work in similar ways!

  • 9/11 (All Quiet on the Western Front)
    OK so I had this great idea back in March, when the US invaded Iraq. Write a couple of poems about war and its effects. Several months later ... this is the *third* of the poems I thought of, but the first to be finished. Written on 18 November 03, conveniently just after Rememberance Sunday. It's a tad cynical, not so much anti-war though as anti-war-leaders. And yes, the title *is* a dual meaning!
  • Welcome to Sandwell
    *Finally* completed 20 November 03 (after a burst of inspiration two weeks previously). Had I ever become a pop singer I would have tried to make this my first song. Yes it's a bit crap, but ... it's all about the borough where I lived at the time, which is one of the 10 worst boroughs in the country for social deprivation (according to Government statistics). I tried to make it light-hearted but ...
  • On The Beach
    Completed 6 January 04, following reading the book of the same name the previous month. The poem's about the onset of nuclear war, the inevitability of death, and other such happy things; it's the natural result you get from reading depressing literature!
  • On Brean
    I think I was feeling a touch cynical when I wrote this. My point was that, despite being on holiday (where everything should be joyous), people couldn't leave behind their arguments with other members. 'Brean' refers to the annual spring holiday at Brean Sands, Somerset, where the groups in the federation would meet up and spend three nights drinking and dancing in a caravan park ...
  • Sonnet on the Federation
    Pretty flexible things, Sonnets. Most people use them to write love poetry. I appear to use them for cynical sideswipes. This is related to the above, but much more general, pointing out that the more people argue amongst themselves and continue to refuse to budge from their own viewpoint on certain issues, then the less will get done and the more the organisation would die. It's still dying ...
  • Do We Care It's Christmas?
    Written in a nice pub in Stockport, just before Christmas '04. I may have been slightly bitter when I wrote it ... The concept is that I'm taking the opening lines of the infamous classic song 'Do They Know It's Christmas', and refuting some of their principles. It's not exactly anti-Christmas, nor anti-Charity; the aspect I was aiming for was anti-Society, and the false idea that 'if you're not with us, you're against us'. A poem I haven't yet written, 'Children in Need', will go into this in more detail ...
  • Vrillon
    Possibly the most random poem I've ever written, and certainly one of the quickest. It's the only poem I've ever written where the links to Wikipedia were an integral part of the form! I tried to work in a number of aspects of conspiracy theories, ufology, cryptozoology, and popular culture, and it was fun to write! I'm not entirely happy with the 2nd-last stanza, i'll work on that at some point [decade]. It does, however, I believe have the best first line of any poem I've written!
  • America Wants You
    Complete ... but I seem to have, er, "mislaid" it ... d'oh!
  • Jerusalem-on-Dearne
    Poem inspired by taking the train on a regular basis up to the call centre my firm runs at Dearne Valley; specifically the part of the journey between Rotherham Central and Swinton. I actually had ideas for two poems; this one was the easiest, as the principle had already been written ... effectively this is me saying "Oi! William Blake! No! Don't be silly!!".
  • The Ballad of Daisy Brown
    The history of this poem is quite interesting. It started out as being a rant about how people in the UK only ever seemed to care about, in a 'giving to charity' / 'having television charity evenings' way, Children, Animals, and Cancer - and that there were considerable numbers of people suffering whose plight was rarely touched upon. However it quickly went on a completely different path as I was writing it; the original chorus line 'It's not just the Children in Need every year' had a certain folk-balladic rhythm that I adopted, but in the event dumped the line in question! It is based on a true story..
  • I'll do anything, you'll do anything too
    Not so much a poem, more a sort of random rapped rant. The title comes from a cheesy mid-90s pop song by Fat Les. It also helps to understand the poem if youre aware of 70s-90s audience participation and pop-culture tv shows ... it's quite clear that Britain *hasn't* got talent! :p
  • Children In Need
    Not yet complete ... coming soon!

  • © Copyright 1992-2010, Ian T Oliver. No copying of these poems is authorised.
    Back to the Index Page