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

Stan Smith

in Writing Liverpool

Published by Liverpool University Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9781846310737
Published online June 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781846314476
‘Every Time a Thing is Possessed, It Vanishes’: The Poetry of Brian Patten

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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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

Chapter.  8585 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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