Lemn Sissay believes that 'poetry is central to what we do', and that poetry should be seen on the street in the same way as sculpture is. One evening, talking to his friend Mark Atwood in this pub, the manager challeged him to write a poem on the wall.
The result is below: quite a masterpiece of street art in the pub garden, complete with benches and old red phonebox. The only thing is, by the look of the abundant vegetation around the locked gate, I strongly suspect that the pub is now closed. If this is the case, it's a bit of a blow to Lemn Sissay's idea of poems as landmarks.
WAIT WATERLESS WANDERER. WHOEVER WALKS
TO THE WELL WILL WADE INTO A WONDEROUS WORLD.
A WORLD WHICH WILL WAKEN THE WILTING
WALLPAPER OF WORK AND WORRY. WELL? WORRY
WILL WAIT WHILE WELLS WAND WHIRLS A WARM-
HEARTED WACKINESS INTO A WEARY WEEK.
WHEREAFTER WAVES AND WATERFALLS OF
WONDERMENT WILL WASH ALL WEAKNESS. A WAY?
WELL? A WORLD WIDE WEB OF WHOLEHEARTED
WHOLESOME WISDOM AND WIT WAITS WIPE AWAY
WORRIES. WELLS WORKS WONDERS FOR WRINKLES.
WHY WAIT. WHY WONDER. WHY WORRY. WHY
WAIN. WHY WHITTLE. WHY WITHER. WALK IN. WELL.
WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR. IT'LL DOUBLE YOU. AT
ADDENDUM: Lemn Sissay has now won the vote for Chancellor of the University of Manchester. Phew! I'm very pleased to say he easily beat the horrendous Peter Mandelson: we don't want dinosaurs, especially hypocrites like the architect of New Labour!
Links to my other posts of Lemn Sissay public poems are given below:
Lemn Sissay's Poetry in Shudehill, Manchester
The Art of Michael Visocchi and Lemn Sissay in London
Lemn Sissay's 'RAIN'