The Story of Us: Histories and Poetry

Krish Madray – ‘My Father’

Krish tells the story of his father’s journey from playing cricket in the West Indies, and later Penzance cricket club, Cornwall, to becoming a social worker in Brixton, London.

The background to this story is how my parents came over, in a somewhat priveldeged position, from Guyana, but always wanted to contribute to the UK and the community in particular.

They were not afraid to let go of their lifestyle and worked tirelessly whilst keeping their culture and values of mutual respect and love alive in the community and home.

I am very proud of their achievements and it has inspired me to carry on their work.”

Gosia Zajac – ‘Nothing Twice’

Gosia reads the poem Nothing Twice, written by Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska in 1957.

I chose this poem as it always reminds me that we’ve only got one life and should never take it for granted but rather immerse ourselves in the experience of living. It helps me understand what really means to be human.”

Jay Jina – ‘A Rock Called Solot’

Jay reads his poem A Rock Called Solot, inspired by the poem We Refugees written by Benjamin Zephaniah.

Refugees continue to be in the news, and yet, as one myself, I have never consciously thought that I was actually one. Yet questions such as: Where do I belong? Who am I? Where did I come from?, Where do I belong? How might my descendants respond to such questions?, have always played in my mind.

Working with some truly wonderful people on ‘The Story of Us’ along with Benjamin Zephaniah’s, “We refugees” inspired me to write this poem as an attempt to tell my story. Who knows; there is also something in it through which others may also see something of themselves. That would be nice: Our Story.

Gosia Maselko-Swedrak – ‘The Envoy of Mr. Cogito’

Gosia reads an excerpt from Zbigniew Herbert’s poem ‘The Envoy of Mr. Cogito’.

This is one of the most famous Polish poems – one of these you simply can’t miss at school, sometimes even have to learn it by heart. I love its tempo, choice of words and strong, uncompromised message. This poem reminds to always be the best version of myself, to defend good in the world and stand by those who are vulnerable. It is like compass I have with me every single day.”

Dave Samuels – ‘You called…and we came’

Dave reads the poem You called…and we came, written by Professor Laura Serrant OBE in 2017.

Swati Gola – ‘Rashmirathi’

Swati reads an excerpt from Rashmirathi, or Charioteer of the Sun, an epic poem written by Hindi poet Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’ in 1952.

Anne Madray – ‘My Grandmother’s Little Cooking Pot’

Anne shares childhood memories of her family’s cooking pot, which has been passed down from her grandmother to her mother, and from her mother to her.

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