My favourite books 26: The Mersey Sound

Penguin Modern Poets 10: The Mersey Sound – Adrian Henri, Roger McGough, Brian Patten

Penguin 1967; this edition 1974

After a week of London, I could struggle for relevance with a week of Nigel Williams (The Wimbledon Trilogy, Fortysomething…).  Instead, a week of poets.

The “Mersey Poets” came from an age when poetry ran dangerously close to the mainstream.  School anthologies included the likes of Timothy Winters and Naming of Parts, before pupils moved up into Larkin and Hughes; Bob Dylan, Smokey Robinson and John Lennon were routinely described as poets, and there was a taste in the air for poetry that spoke the language of the common man (thanks and goodnight, Ezra Pound); a coming together of poetry, performance and pop.  It couldn’t last.