Moss Rich

A Psalm of Consequences for Those Who Can’t Keep Up Monthly Payments (2010)


Selected Poems (2011)

That Moss Rich is a rare phenomenon is the least interesting thing about him. Nevertheless, Britain’s oldest practising poet is 101 this year, unlikely as say a precocious poet of 10. Both extremes of youth and age militate against our fluent notions of exposition, material, freshness, verve. Rich has these in the most curious abundance: youth and age crab together here in a powerful collision of old and new values, material, contemporary and arcane expressions.

He writes from the point of view of a skilled man in a trade that’s almost vanished but a trade interestingly which allowed him access to all sorts of printed and unprintable opinions. …‘A Patch of Land’ is incomparably Moss Rich’s finest work… This long poem stands at the heart of the collection, but there’s an unsurprising thematic pull to mortality too. ‘The Thinking Man’ shows the kind of unbalancing smugness and sudden flip-over that belies any notion that the Queen’s Telegram may ward off Rich’s biting east wind sensibility…

from the Introduction by Simon Jenner

ISBN: ISBN 978-1-906742-33-1 Category:

Praise and Poems

He’s an inventive,wry, witty, and very human poet of everyday experience
John Davies, The South

A lively ironic wit expressed through delightful rhymes, word-play and idea-play
Tim Shelton-Jones, Brighton Nightwriters

When you read them you want to share them with your friends

Moss Rich is in his 101st year, yet his verse has a springing youthfulness that flies in the face of age, as well as political (and poetical) correctness. Through Betjemanesque bi-focals Rich draws on both the humour and the pathos in life’s routines. Allied to a satirical streak, and irrepressible biblical lampooning, is a sharp political eye and an instinctive empathy for the impecunious. Poems such as ‘Memories and Greeting Cards’ are little triumphs, reminiscent of the recently revived oeuvre of Harold Monro.
Alan Morrison

Memories and Greeting Cards

A biscuit tin my Booba tossed aside
I found and cleaned, restored its shape
and shine,
A swarm of memories buzzed inside my
And now this old-time memory tin is

Dickensian house, once home for trusted
Reduced to a shabby immigrant abode,
With Booba crossing — with six hand-
locked kids
To Mrs Streimer’s choc-shop — Hackney

A friend not seen in ages sends her card,
Of polished greetings… And my mind
now stirs
With images of friends and friendly
Deep–rooted in the un-returning years.
Unique antiques! Old memories have no
fellow —
They can’t be bought or sold on

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