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Late Victorians

Trim as a corporal, he'd given up hours
to muvver's dirt, miles from anywhere
and deep as hell, simmering till dusk
when she'd be waiting by the back door
to watch him drag home sacks like corpses.
He'd have taken down his strap to us,
she said, if he'd had any puff left in him.

John Forth was born in Bethnal Green, London, and then taught in many parts of Britain. But Bethnal Green remains his inspiration. As one reveiwer (in Ambit) wrote: "these poems are full of good old working class family warmth, but they're written with a sure hand on form and cadence. They wear their skill easily."