Adrian Mitchell

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Biography

Adrian Mitchell was an English poet, novelist and playwright. Before he became a poet and author he was a journalist for a major newspaper in the UK. For 48 years he was the foremost poet for the protests on the anti-bomb movement. Mitchell’s famous quote of “Most people ignore poetry because most poetry ignores most people” explains how some people have no interest in poetry because it is not on a topic that they can relate to or they are involved in like, wars, racial discrimination etc. Mitchell’s main themes in his poems are of nuclear war, the wars in Vietnam and racism. His poems are often “sung” or chanted in protests, demonstrations and rallies that relate to those certain topics. His poems are very strong, deep and they leave a very strong visual image in your head. In a National poetry day poll in 2005 his poem “Human Beings” was voted the one most people would like to see blasted into space. This means that if “aliens” or another life form come close to Earth they might find it and get an idea of what our planet is really like or people just didn’t like it. Mitchell began writing since a young age. He wrote his first play called The Animal’s Brains Trust when he was only ten years old. Later in his life he wrote many poems and short stories for young children and teens but they still had deep aspects dug deep into them so if a child was reading it they may not find it but an adult would most likely find the underlying message. It may have been one word or one line in the story but he was always protesting about something in most of his pieces of writing. The technique that Mitchell uses in most of his poems is sarcastic humour as a weapon against the oppressive forces of the topic of the poem. Many people describe this technique as “humour that can stick deep and stay funny” meaning that it has a seep underlying message but it is still funny and doesn’t poke fun at the serious issues of his poems. Because of the rhyme and flow of Mitchell’s poems he is said to sometimes come close to song in some of his poems. Mitchell was a very prolific and influential writer right up to the day he unfortunately passed away in December 2008.

Bibliography

www.wikipedia.com
mailto:www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/singlePoet.do?poetId=40 http://www.adrianmitchell.co.uk/#/biography/4538662557
http://www.cnduk.org/pages/poems.htm

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN (TELL ME LIES ABOUT VIETNAM)
I was run over by the truth one day
Ever since the accident I've walked this way
    So stick my legs in plaster
    Tell me lies about Vietnam
Heard the alarm clock screaming with pain
Couldn't find myself, so I went back to sleep again
    So fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
    Tell me lies about Vietnam
Every time I shut my eyes, all I see is flames
I made a marble phone-book, and I carved all the names
    So coat my eyes with butter
    Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
    Tell me lies about Vietnam
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
    So stuff my nose with garlic
    Coat my eyes with butter
    Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
    Tell me lies about Vietnam
Where were you at the time of the crime?
Down by the Cenotaph, drinking slime
    So chain my tongue with whisky
    Stuff my nose with garlic
    Coat my eyes with butter
    Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
    Tell me lies about Vietnam
You put your bombers in, you put your conscience out
You take the human being, and you twist it all about
    So scrub my skin with women
    So chain my tongue with whisky
    Stuff my nose with garlic
    Coat my eyes with butter
    Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
    Tell me lies about Afghanistan
    Tell me lies about Israel
    Tell me lies about Congo Tell me lies Mr Bush
Tell me lies Mr B-B-Blair, Brown,...
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