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Deryn Rees-Jones and Michael Murphy

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310737

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846314476

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‘Every Time a Thing is Possessed, It Vanishes’: The Poetry of Brian Patten

‘Every Time a Thing is Possessed, It Vanishes’: The Poetry of Brian Patten

(p.117) 7 ‘Every Time a Thing is Possessed, It Vanishes’: The Poetry of Brian Patten
Writing Liverpool

Stan Smith

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the life and work of Brian Patten, who was born in 1946 into an impoverished working-class family in the Sefton Park area of Liverpool. Patten's poetry reflects the peculiar dialectic between individual isolation, in an environment felt to be ‘quite violent and strange’, and a populist sense of communal identity, with its local loyalties, which has always just been lost but hovers perpetually on the verge of possible recovery. His poems are featured in the collections The Mersey Sound (1967), Love Poems (1981), and Grinning Jack (1990).

Keywords:   poets, poetry, isolation, communal identity, anthologies, Mersey Sound, Love Poems, Grinning Jack

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