Monday, 23 May 2016

Got Angry, Wrote a Poem

It all started so innocently. I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, when this popped up, courtesy of Hannah Elwick, who ripped it a new one, displaying maximum sarcasm.

“This” (in case you can’t see it via the link above) was a glurgy piece of nostalgia porn misogyny masquerading as poetry.  My emotions shifted through ennui to rage to disgust (and not just because of the font used) pretty quickly, briefly eased by Hannah’s magnificent rant against it.

But this is me, and it was lunchtime, so: riposte poem time:

Text version:

A Poem To Which I Can Relate

I remember the corned beef of my Childhood,
And the bread that we cut with a knife,
When the Children helped with the housework,
And the men went to work not the wife.
The cheese never needed a fridge,
And the bread was so crusty and hot,
The Children were seldom unhappy,
And the Wife was content with her lot.

I remember the milk from the bottle,
With the yummy cream on the top,
Our dinner came hot from the oven,
And not from a freezer; or shop.
The kids were a lot more contented,
They didn’t need money for kicks,
Just a game with their friends in the road,
And sometimes the Saturday flicks.
I remember the slap on my backside,
And the taste of soap if I swore
Anorexia and diets weren’t heard of
And we hadn’t much choice what we wore.

Do you think that bruised our ego?
Or our initiative was destroyed?
We ate what was put on the table
And I think life was better enjoyed.

Author Unknown
A Poem To Which WE Can Relate

artwork by Eddie Holly

We remember the old beef of Childhood,
The silence that cut like a knife
Where Children were seen and not heard
And blows clamped down marital strife
The Wife could not claim her possessions,
Worked for nothing in kitchen and bed;
The Children were gifted this vision:
That’s your future until you are dead.

We remember the Childhood diseases
That took all but lucky or strong
Darwinianism in action
And no-one to challenge our wrongs.
We gazed at the chasm dividing
The have-nots from those haves who strode
Over huge tracts of land that were paid for
By theft, tax, and History’s goad.

Those who were beaten learned nothing
Except how to govern by fear
Girls were pressed into corsets and wasted away
You won’t learn if you don’t try to hear

The privileged never do question
From whence comes their food and their board
You whine incognito as we change the world
With your death rattle justly ignored.

Fay Roberts

The beautiful picture of Ruby Rose in the Westinghouse style was created by the ridiculously talented Eddie Holly.

Feel free to share if you like. A surprising number of people already have, which both weirds me out and gratifies me (yay! imposter syndrome!), and the original Facebook version is here.

UPDATE: Bloody hell - there's a longer version. Turns out the ... bit in the one to which I responded is to indicate where there were more lines, but the perpetrator pinched them out in order to be able to fit the meat of the “poem” on a single side of A4.


  1. I was trying to identify the author of the original, to go with my own angry reply when I came across this. Well written!

    1. Thanks! Would love to see your angry reply when it's done! :)

      The most I could find out was that it's apparently called "Nostalgia" (of course it is), but no-one's laying claim to it.

  2. Brilliant reply. This kind of fuckwittery annoys the hell out of me. People froze in their houses as they only had one source of heating. Food being cooked from scratch is great if you have the time or the energy but it is one of the worst kinds of snobbery to think that it all has to be made from scratch because you have days when you just want to bitch-slap your boss and you can't face coming in and cooking for the next two hours.

    1. Thanks! (SOrry for the delay in replying - got ill, then got buried in emails! :-/)

      It's the worst kind of glurgey sentamentalism that forgets how very rife that is with ableism, and smugness. And lack of ability to understand the real - but different - struggles that people nowadays have (never mind conveniently editing out memories of early, painful deaths and grim diseases).