Brian Patten: Poems

Mersey Sound Poets: The Sounds of a New Era 10th Grade

“If I decide to be indecisive, that’s my decision,” is a famous quote from one of the most prominent poets of the Mersey Sound era, Roger McGough. Since the vast majority of the poets from this era were very close friends and performed their works together as opening acts for many famous artists, such as Led Zeppelin and the Beatles, several of McGough’s colleagues would have spoken this quip if he hadn’t. Many of the poems that McGough and his fellow poets wrote reflect this attitude of ironic humor, looking at the world through a new lens, and self-deprecation. McGough, Patten, and Henri epitomize the style of this era by presenting pop culture with poetry that describes real life and what it entails.

The style of this era could be described in many ways, but the best way to sum it up is to say that it’s about redefining what people think of when they see the word “poetry”; it’s about changing perceptions from academic analyses, historical research, and Shakespearean sonnets to writing about the lives of everyday people. Some of the strategies implemented in achieving this goal include not adhering a rigid, set structure or its components, using imagery to paint scenes from life that most people can envision, and elaborating...

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