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Lemn Sissay
Anthem of the North

The North Star leads the way
To the mountain top in awe
That, my friend, is why they say
Up up up… North

And so we build year after year
And we rise tide after time
We bring light to darkness
And we shine

Welcome to our future
And all she endows
This is our dream, our vision
This is our power, our house

This is the backbone of Britain
And they say it is cold
But there is nothing warmer
Than a Northern Soul

Even the tides of oceans speak of you
Upon their chosen course
“Bring as many waves as you can” they say
“for we are heading North”

And they come in waves to kiss our coast -
Urged on by the North Wind
The surge of river greets the Sea
“Come in” it says “come in”

The A’s the E’s the I’s the O’s the U’s
Flocks of vowels fill the night with song
Great they are and migrate they do
The North is where they belong

Daughters of suffragettes sons of mines
The digital revolution - the creation
True North you North
You heart of our nation

And our children grow wings
And soar across this earth
But home they are assured
Is the greatest place on earth

Oh North North I love you
You made me the best I could be
You waited with open arms
And took in a stranger like me

We are the beautiful North
The darkness of night bows
We are a waterfall of light
This is our power, our house

We're delighted to be able to hand out exclusive postcards featuring Lemn Sissay's Anthem of the North, which was commissioned by the Great Exhibition of the North, to Metro commuters in Newcastle throughout National Poetry Day. Tying in with this year's National Poetry Day theme of change Lemn Sissay's powerful poem celebrates our adopted home town of Newcastle and our region's continued role at the heart of positive social change nationwide. The Great Exhibition of the North was a free, summer-long celebration of the North of England’s pioneering spirit. The country’s biggest event in 2018, it featured an action packed programme of amazing exhibits, live performances, displays of innovation, new artworks and unforgettable experiences over 80 days - the legacy of which lives on in these postcards today! To find out more about Lemn Sissay's Anthem of the North and the Great Exhibition of the North, visit their website here.

Lemn Sissay was seventeen when he wrote his first poetry book, which he hand-sold to the miners and millworkers of Wigan. Since then his poems have become landmarks, sculpted in granite and built from concrete, recorded on era-defining albums and declaimed in over thirty countries. He has performed to thousands of football fans at the FA Cup Final, to hundreds of thousands as the poet of the London Olympics, and to millions across our TV screens and the airwaves of BBC Radio. He has become one of the nation's best-loved voices.

His latest book of new and selected poems Gold from the Stone is available to order here with 25% off for PBS Members. Join the Poetry Book Society today for a year of poetry parcels and 25% off all poetry books.

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