Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Made in Hull: A Poetic City

Recently, I was delving into issues of the University of Hull’s student paper, ‘Torch’, as part of my work [RefNo. U SUH]. Reading through a volume covering the period of the Second World War, I was intrigued to find that issues often contain poetry submissions from students. Many of these submissions were clearly inspired by our city, and this gave me an idea for a blog.

As it is UNESCO World Poetry Day on the 21st March, I thought you might like to take a look at some past images of Hull through the medium of student poetry. So this fortnight’s Culture of Culture blog will have limited input from me in order that you may take in some interesting perspectives on Hull written by people who have been inspired by the city.

Professor Hardy invented the Continuous Plankton Recorder whilst Professor of Zoology at Hull. This poem was presumably written by one of his students and captures one reaction to research being undertaken in the city during the 1940s.

During the Second World War, Hull was heavily bombed, possibly the worst hit city, along with Coventry, outside of London. This poem evokes the experience of living in Hull during the heavy bomb raids of the 1940s.

At the end of the Second World War, Hull was a ruined city, with bombed out buildings and 1000s of people having to be rehoused. This poem conjures a picture of what it must have been like to walk around the city in the aftermath of the war.

And finally, poem that may be inspired by Paragon Station, a building that would have been used by students coming and going between home and studies. Quite literally, a 'lighter' note to end on, with a depiction of a city looking forward with hope for the future.

If you have enjoyed any other these, why not come and visit us? You will find plenty more student poems in the 'Torch' volumes we hold here at the History Centre.

Claire, Assistant Archivist (HUA)

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