About the poet
Daljit Nagra (b. 1966) was the first poet to win the Forward Prize for both his first collection...
With an epigraph from a Pears' Soap advert from 1899: The first step towards lightening THE WHITE MAN's burden is through teaching the virtues of cleanliness.
A right savage I was - sozzled
to the nose with sprightly
Muldoon, squeezed into the communal
sweat of a Saturday tube home -
I'm up to p. 388 of his sharp lemon-skinned
when some scruffy looking git pipes to his crew
Some Paki shit, like,
eee's loookin into!
My blood rising, especially when my head's
done in with words like
'Badbh' ... 'Cailidin' ... 'Salah-eh-din',
I nearly get blunt, as one of them -
Well mate, this Paki's more British than that inde-
cipherable, impossibly untranslatable
sod of a Paddy -
only I don't 'cos I catch my throat gungeing
on its Cromwellian vile, my tongue foaming for soap...
from Look We Have Coming to Dover! Read by the Author (P) Faber Audio 2008, original text copyright © Daljit Nagra 2007 from Look We Have Coming to Dover! (Faber & Faber, 2007), used by permission of the author and publisher
Sponsor this poem
Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.