Back in the Playground Blues by Adrian Mitchell About this poet

Adrian Mitchell performs his own poem on the terrors of the playground.

This poem is part of the Poetry Station’s collection for National Poetry Day 2011: Games.
Find out more at National Poetry Day.

This film by Pamela Robertson-Pearce is from the DVD-book In Person: 30 Poets, ed. Neil Astley. See Bloodaxe Books – In Person

Length: 1:48m   Topics: Childhood, Memories, School,
38 comments – see below
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charlotte goostrey | 4 February 2010

I think that this poem was quite upsetting and I feel really sorry for the child. A they sound genially sad and I think that lot’s of people are in this situation and it will really touch a nerve. It made me feel a little tearful . But I do like it mainly because it is very visual about the playground and the wire fence, how high he was when all this happened.  it involves repetition which is very effective in this particular . It’s mainly about bulling and this happens all around the world every day and I think that it is a very important subject. It also touches on other subjects like racism and other reasons that kids are bulled. I think it was good but the bit about the beetle was odd.


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john | 2 March 2010

you captured the horrors of the playground, very well in this piece


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Konwajiro | 23 August 2010

Yes – fantastic. Love the way he’s always on the verge of going from speech into full-out singing. And I know just what he means about the playground.? File next to Roger Waters’ reminiscences on? The Wall by Pink Floyd. (Comment from the Poetry Station’s YouTube site.)


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Faffylaffy | 23 August 2010

Simply amazing!


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Rose | 28 September 2011

I think this was a thought-provoking poem made all the more powerful by the delivery.


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Tom Smith | 29 September 2011

I thought that this poem did extremely well to portray a young boys fear of the school bullies. The poet emphasised the size of the grounds and the high fences to show that there is no escape from their cruelty and stressed that no one is immune to their torture.


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pippa Smith | 1 October 2011

This poem is well written and really shows the fears of the school playground. I like the descriptions of the playground and how the author really emphisized how scary a playground can seem when you are bullied. The poem really shows how the child feels so far away from his family with the good vocabulary and descriptions that the poet used. Well done this poem is my favourite! smile


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amelia smith | 2 October 2011

In this poem you can feel the pain of what the child in the poem go through, as he uses good vocabulary which sets a vivid image of the playground and how the child felt. He describes the playground telling us they was a high fence which shows us that there was no where to escape from the pain and torture of the playground. I really enjoyed this poem.


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Anna Smith | 2 October 2011

I think the poet described the horrors of what some children have to go through at school really well. The poet talked about the height and scale of the playground compared to the size of the child which shows how intimidating things can be when you are young.


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Sophia Smith | 3 October 2011

Incredibly thought provoking. I liked how it was read with a bit of swing in it. It describes well how small a child can feel when being bullied and how some adults view it as “preparation for life”. This poem is very vivid in telling how the child feels cut off from the outside world. It gives an accurate insight into bullying.


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Annie | 6 October 2011

I think that he described it very well and he was describing a child getting bullied, and what he went through at school


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ginger ninja | 6 October 2011

i feel that the guy needs to be seen by a phsycologist and i think he needs help i felt that the poem was actually ok but the reader put me off


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April | 6 October 2011

i thought this poem was really funny.  it was great!!!!


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Dylan Mackley and Alfie Feltham | 6 October 2011

very good has a twist to the poem that i dont think any other has it describes something more usual 8/10


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emma mitchell | 6 October 2011

I thought this poem ’ back in the blues’ was very powerful & spoken with strength and though.


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natasha and emily | 6 October 2011

I liked the way the reader used expression whilsst saying the poem, althogh the video might have been more suited in a plainer background or in the blaground. the poem was interesting alought somtimes it was a bit to repetative in places. xx


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Michael Vast | 6 October 2011

The poet made it very scary for a child to be in a playground. He is just over exageratted. He made it sound like someone would drag you to a place where you would get incinierated. TODAY IS THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!


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India Covey | 6 October 2011

The poet has used a powerful voice when reading this poem to get his point across about harsh people could be in the playground, situations you get in,and things you were able to get away with. Great Poem!


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Annie | 6 October 2011

I really like thgis because it flows really well and is quite emotional and humerous&something; that children can relate too:)


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louise | 6 October 2011

the poem was about the past back into school days and he used ryming word and includied all sorts of things that happen in school now


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j b lewis | 6 October 2011

i liket the wen he shoted


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bob the duck | 6 October 2011

Was he singing it? smile Anyway apart from that it is an epic story of the playground!!!!


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James Cox | 6 October 2011

The way you made everything rhyme was really clever. Please post more poems i cant wait to see them. smile


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Harriet Tull | 6 October 2011

I found this poem quite humorous, i like they way he spoke and used his actions…and the actual poem its self was pretty good! the lyrics were understandable and i liked them! but my favourite bit is the man who is saying the poem, cracks me up they way he speaks the poem and his actions..i enjoyed it :D


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Charlotte stibbards | 6 October 2011

i think this poem really describes the playgroung verry well and i like the fact he used his actions and voice!


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sam tudor | 6 October 2011

it was amazing! It was really moving aswell


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Adam Liddell | 6 October 2011

very interesting and energetic


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epic jeff | 6 October 2011

it was depressing


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elle charles | 6 October 2011

that was amazing and great singing


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James Perrin | 6 October 2011

It captures the horrible dreaded scene of a filled noisy playground all though it was awfully sad it is my favourite a masterpiece


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charlotte sheppard | 6 October 2011

it was ok


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Oscar MrMurragh | 6 October 2011

I think it was actually really good.  He obviously likes rhyme and rhythm.  I think he got bullied at school.  Was he about 5?  The killing ground was where lots of people got bullied - like if you were short and fat Jewish blah blah blah.
He was reallty dramatic - mercy!  I preferred this one because he was put so much effort into that.  He never got over what happened to him at school. That poor beetle.


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