The Road to Hull

The sign said Welcome to Kingston-upon-Hull
But, underneath, someone had scrawled
Mindless bastard centre of the North.
Greetings signs are always bull,
But if I lived there I'd be appalled
That some embittered no mark in
Life should see fit to sally forth
And shame the long-time home of Larkin.
East coast names don't help, of course;
To Hull add Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Goole,
They're all as depressing as Hell
But surely not a reason to force
Some sad misanthropic fool
To calumnise an innocent port
(Allowing for the fishy smell);
I hope the dirty rascal's caught.
Sadly, he may not be alone:
Larkin himself called Hull a 'dump'
And slagging it's now a merry
Sport. Let the City Chiefs chafe and moan,
Something about it gives folk the hump.
But Hull suited Larkin just fine,
One senses it on the ferry:
Freedom at the end of the line.

Philip Howard

If you have any comments on this poem,  Philip Howard would be pleased to hear them.