Talking about London
by Stephanie Marquardt
“Talk about London.” What do you mean by that?
A man with a cane, Victorian coat and hat?
Or the Houses of Parliament making decisions,
Or problems with race and class divisions?
Do you mean
Talk about the Queen?
Red telephone boxes,
The population of foxes,
A Ripper with knives,
A King with six wives,
Dr Who and Amy Pond,
Sherlock Holmes, James Bond,
The chime of Big Ben,
Or summers on Richmond Green?
So when you tell me to talk about London,
Please tell me, which one do you mean?
A poem by Second Year Creative and Professional Writing student Steph, written as part of the Writing London module. Steph said, about the inspiration for the poem:
Being a Londoner, I feel the place is so multi-faceted that it cannot be defined in a short sentence: it is a combination of people, events, objects and of course, the buildings and areas of the city.
As per to the actual writing of it, I had the last 2 lines in my head for a while, to do the rest (the ‘list’ part), I tried to write down every image I have when someone says “London.”
A lot of my friends are musicians and spoken word artists, they give me a lot of inspiration about how things should sound and flow. I wanted to have a smooth, bouncy rhythm to the poem that forces the reader to speak it faster as it goes on. This city does not have a slow rhythm.
I suppose the poem’s a love letter about home, really. I’m proud to have come from here.