The London Breed by Benjamin Zephaniah

In light of events, today’s review seemed unsuitable, so instead I thought I’d share one of my favourite poems:

Benjamin Zephaniah – The London Breed from Johnny Fingers on Vimeo.

I love dis great polluted place
Where pop stars come to live their dreams
Here ravers come for drum and bass
And politicians plan their schemes,
The music of the world is here
Dis city can play any song
They came to here from everywhere
Tis they that made dis city strong.
A world of food displayed on streets
Where all the world can come and dine
On meals that end with bitter sweets
And cultures melt and intertwine,
Two hundred languages give voice
To fifteen thousand changing years
And all religions can rejoice
With exiled souls and pioneers.
I love dis overcrowded place
Where old buildings mark men and time
And new buildings all seem to race
Up to a cloudy dank skyline,
Too many cars mean dire air
Too many guns mean danger
Too many drugs means be aware
Of strange gifts from a stranger.
It’s so cool when the heat is on
And when it’s cool it’s so wicked
We just keep melting into one
Just like the tribes before us did,
I love dis concrete jungle still
With all its sirens and its speed
The people here united will
Create a kind of London breed.

* * * * *

With you in spirit, my London friends, on yet another awful day.

12 thoughts on “The London Breed by Benjamin Zephaniah

  1. A wonderful poem for a tragic moment: at the darkest times we do need to take some time to zoom out from horror to the bigger picture of rich humanity which carries all sorrow, all love, all peace, all disorder. A real song for London, thank you.

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