So no more will I sit on these cold toilet lids
No matter how embarrassed I feel as she sips
Because in this country of billboards, covered in tits
I think we should try to get used to this
A rattling, lilting, lyrical rant at the absurdity of society’s contradictory attitudes to breasts and breast feeding. Absurd, and desperately frustrating, not only to individuals, but also to anyone who cares about public health.
Hollie McNish achieved a wide audience as a YouTuber before she won the Ted Hughes poetry prize in 2017 for her collection Nobody Told Me, ‘a verse memoir from the frontline of motherhood’. Previous poems cover racism, boyfriends, adolescence, sex. Always direct, sometimes very moving, McNish argues that her poems aren’t deep enough to win poetry prizes, but they did. Previously she was UK Slam poetry champion of 2009. Her poetry reads well in print too though. And easily.
- The poem just read aloud to camera (YouTube)
- Hollie McNish YouTube channel.
- Hollie McNish (Wikipedia). Interview in 2017.
- A Posy Simmonds cartoon from the 1980s shows that we have made less progress than hoped. More in the commentary below that post.
- The featured image is a still from the video.