Poor Oxford

For Brian Sewell of Oxford who said Liverpool has no culture.

Poor Oxford,
you say we have no culture.
What have you got?
Privilege, half a boat race and Inspector Morse.
You wouldn’t know the back end of a horse,
let alone Aintree.
So you've got a few students
we've got fifty thousand!
Your dreaming spires … what do they dream?
Exclusivity!
Certainly not football’s passion and the vibrant dreams
of a million Scousers!
All who could be King, but choose not too,
because we’ve got bottle.
Where’s your bottle?
Moldering in your privilege cellar.
Poor Oxford!
Where’s your Mersey?
Your music,
your kaleidoscope of races,
your compassion, your fashion
where’s your friendliness?

Poor Oxford stuck in a rigid class frame,
never changing, no innovation, no excitement,
no vibrant talk.
Oxford comedians?
Don’t make me laugh,
admit it,
we’ve had the last laugh because
we deserve to be
… the European Capital of Culture.



By Roger Cliffe-Thompson