Yesterday lunchtime, in response to seeing this government ad, I wrote a poem. By teatime, it had gone viral. By the end of the evening, it had been shared over 1000 times. I woke this morning to discover it had been turned into a meme and was making its way through the world under its own steam, while the number of shares on Facebook topped 1500 and kept on climbing. This afternoon someone has set it – incredibly beautifully – to music, several other folk are threatening the same, and another person’s promised to create a video celebrating Fatima and what she can achieve.
Nothing like this has quite happened to me since the Caffè Nero letter back in 2014. Thank you to everyone who’s shared the poem (or the meme), or got in touch to say it’s been a shot in the arm in difficult times. Watching this government flail around from one bungling catastrophe to the next – while failing to look after the people it’s supposed to serve – it can be easy to feel isolated, despairing. I believe that art, satire, humour, and righteous rage can do a lot to lift that gloom. It seems a lot of other people feel the same. And that will always give me hope.
Meanwhile, if you’re new to my work and would like to read more of my poetry, you’ll find plenty of it here for free. I hope you enjoy it. I’ve a Youtube channel, too, if you’ve an urge to hear my dulcet tones. And because times are hard, and spare cash is at a premium for a lot of people (in my industry and many others), I’m cutting the price of my book thirty-one small acts of love and resistance to just £5 plus p&p from now till midnight Sunday.
Because art is more effective when it’s shared.