This poem was published in The Poetry Review, spring issue, 2015. Jonathan Edwards read at the launch of the spring issue of The Poetry Review at the London Review Bookshop, London, 24 April 2015.

Gen

by Jonathan Edwards

Look at them, coming round the corner,
bouncing, flouncing, boho
beehives, tattooed, corduroy-looned, sneakered
scumbags, skinheads, brogue-shod uni fools, or
look, they’re me, they’re you, but slightly
cooler, lust- and roll-up-fuelled, artfully
spectacled idea junkies, pushing,
selling, anyone of us could be
John Lennon, Jesus, coke and sneezes
forced through nostrils that are pinned
or pierced. Look, these feather-boa’d
vegans or these leopardskinned
animals, with their x-rated
bodies, their needs never sated
by hands-free friends or look, their palm-held
search engines, their razor’d heads turned
by beauty or a global crisis, these masters
of their own devices. For every word
they’ve #’d or abbreviated, each god
they’ve never worshipped, every song
they’ve downloaded, shook their arses to or sung,
I say bow down, bow down, the young, the young.

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”.  Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally.  Today it has nearly 4000 members worldwide and publishes The Poetry Review.

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