Friday 1 September 2023



I've been reading 1966 by Jon Savage and I think the section on burning The Beatles records sparked this post's poem. I've never understood the desire to burn books, I think it's a waste and some how makes the banned books stronger, more desirable. It's as if the people doing the burning are frightened or limited in their means of expression. 


was everything you’d expect it to be.

Self-righteous men, always men,

directing the children, laden

with armfuls of the banned, damned books.

Casting them into the inferno

with a wide eyed giddy intensity,

ecstatic in this act of vandalism

we are burning books!

and the air is full of charred letters.

Stray words set free

from carefully constructed sentences.

The ink knows as it sizzles,

that every book is a temporary alliance

of print and wood pulp and glue.

If the men had been more patient

eventually it would have returned to dust

Does it work? I think so [otherwise I wouldn't be showing it], I wanted to show the different lengths of time that things last. The burning of books is a form of group insanity. I shall put the poem away for a couple of months, which usually exposes flaws. Watch this space.

Here are The Beatles.

Until next time.

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