Young poet

10th March 2000 at 00:00
Adnan Chowdhury, 15, Morpeth school, Tower Hamlets, London.

My Uncle. My uncleAlways inflicted his views on me. Always made me understand the moral issues surrounding life. And I was always afraid of him.

My uncle. Lives in Manchester. And supports the Red Devils. Even though he's not a football fan. My uncle. Was my best friend. Now I dread the day. When he comes round. I like the voice in this poem. It's a real person talking to us, directly, keeping nothing back. And yet it's also an artful voice, someone using a structure, a form.

It's a simple enough form, but it masks a complex idea or series of interlocked ideas - which ultimately deal with outgrowing an influence and learning to think for oneself. Also with how an uncle is still a relative even when he's stopped being a friend. This is how football can be too, after a certain age; you stop going (if you ever did) to mtches, though you'd still say you support yourlocal team.

Adnan's poem is more complex than this reading because there's a sense that the narrator's outgrown his uncle because the uncle's not a football fan but still talks as if he is: that is, with passion, conviction and at length.

Adnan Chowdhury receives Emergency Kit, edited by Jo Shapcott and Matthew Sweeney (Faber). His poem was submitted by Jane Anderson. Peter Sansom has published the handbook, Writing Poems, with Bloodaxe. His third Carcanet collection, partly about his Poetry Society Marks and Spencer residency, is published this year. Please send poems, not more than 20 lines, to Young Poet, TES Friday, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX The TES Book of Young Poets (pound;9.99), a selection of poems from this column, can be ordered by phoning 01454 617370. A set of posters is available for pound;3.99


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