Verse

James Connolly's The Legacy

Come here my son, and for a time put up your childish play,
Draw nearer to your father’s bed, and lay your games away.
No sick man’s ’plaint is this of mine, ill-tempered at your noise,

James Connolly's The Legacy: The Dying Socialist to His Son is a powerful exposition in verse of the socialist view of working people throughout history.

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Ranting, Rhyming, Revolting

Author: 

Richard Driver

At the launch of Janine’s new book she reassured those worried about it not containing enough hating of Tories that their concerns were unfounded. And I want to reassure readers that the polemical potency of the poetry is not poorly presented.

A review of The 3 Rs: Ranting, Rhyming, Revolting by Janine Booth.

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A failure, and a crime

Author: 

Janine Booth

Janine Booth continues describing the history of what took place at Gallipoli. Part one can be found in Solidarity 388.


Guy Dawnay, one of Hamilton’s staff officers, went to London to tell the truth about what was happening. On 14 October, Britain’s Dardanelles committee sacked Hamilton, replacing him with Sir Charles Monro. By this time, the Allies were evacuating 600 men per day due to sickness and injury.

Gallipoli was not a war of national liberation, but an imperialist invasion. While other countries mark a national day on a date when they achieved self-governance or independence, Anzac Day falls on the anniversary of an attempted military conquest.

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Savage, bloody and pointless

Author: 

Janine Booth

The First World War was into its second year when Britain attacked the Dardenelles strait, a narrow passage of sea in the eastern Mediterranean overlooked by the Gallipoli peninsula.

The First World War was into its second year when Britain attacked the Dardenelles strait, a narrow passage of sea in the eastern Mediterranean overlooked by the Gallipoli peninsula.

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Heroes and Hordes

Author: 

Janine Booth

If Nicholas Winton were saving the children today
His Transport of Kindness would camp out in fear at Calais
Compassion is easier cast back through history's mist
Abhorrence for migrants but Oscars for Schindler's List

No humans may cross here, this tunnel is only for freight
Hurrah for the Blackshirts and see off the swarms at the gate
They've kind words for history, now for the iron-clad fist
Coldness for Calais and Oscars for Schindler's List

A poem about migration now and in the 1930's.

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Bourgeois Pride.

Author: 

John Keats

In every age the left, before it can do anything else, has to debunk the pretensions of those who hold the social and political power. This is especially true when the ruling class is prosperous, triumphant and confident. The British capitalist class was very confident indeed in the first decades of the 19th century, when Britain was becoming the “workshop of the world”, was mistress of the Seas, and had recently conquered the French Empire of Napoleon Bonaparte. It's bourgeoisie was puffed up with pride.

John Keats pours scorn on the pretensions and pride of a bourgeoisie which lives by mean and inhuman exploitation.

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Fence Sitter

Author: 

Janine Booth

Fence Sitter

They’re cutting help to those in need —
What case to vote against?
This is a tricky one indeed
I’m staying on the fence

Scrap targets for child poverty?
My mind is wracked with doubt
Perhaps, no — maybe, probably —
I’m sitting this one out

What’s wrong with capping benefits?
Could someone please explain?
There’s good things, bad things — call it quits
I think I’ll just abstain

A poem about Labour and the Welfare Reform Bill.

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Hating Tories and other poems

Author: 

Rosalind Robson

Many of Janine’s poems are, as she says, all about “venting her spleen on the poetic stage”. For this Workers’ Liberty member, socialist-feminist, trade unionist, spoken-word performer, every day has to be a day for hating the Tories.

Here are the worst excesses, vanities and unthinking elitism of Tory politicians, vilified and poked fun at:

“Shall I compare thee to a winter’s day?

Thou art more cold and more intemperate...”

A review of Mostly Hating Tories, a collection of poems by Janine Booth.

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Two classes of calamity

Author: 

Janine Booth

Edward Harold Physick was born in 1878 in Ealing, London, and from 1910 wrote under the name E H Visiak.

He became a clerk with the Indo-European Telegraph Company, but was sacked from his job when he wrote poetry opposing World War One. This short poem is from his 1916 collection, The Battle Fiends.

After the government introduced conscription in 1916, Visiak became a conscientious objector. After the war, he stopped publishing poetry, and spent the rest of a low-profile career writing novels, short stories and literary criticism.

Two poems which show the contrasting ways relatives of officers and privates killed in World War I were informed of their deaths.

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