An Ode to Camberwell

This month has been quite busy. Not busy enough to be of any use, however, as I found myself struggling to muster up a topic for this month’s blog post, completely bereft of inspiration. Then one evening after work, when I got off the bus – I noticed the blue plaque on one of the buildings at the end of my road, stating the famed poet, Robert Browning had lived there. The plaque is not new – it’s been there for over 10 years – but it’s the first time I had actually bothered to pay attention and read it before. Apparently old Robbie lived above a fried chicken shop in Southampton Way, just a stone’s throw from where I live. I expect he used to go there for a fat munch – a bargain bucket of hot wings, no doubt – on his way home from getting tanked up in The George Tavern on a Friday night.

Inspired by this, I have tried to write a poem of my own in honour of top lad, Rob Browning, and the area in London where I dwell – Camberwell. I have tried to harness the style of some of poetry’s greats, the likes of Rimbaud, Wordsworth, Poe and Dappy from N-Dubz. The iambic pentameter is a bit fucked, but at least it rhymes.

Between Oval and Walworth lies SE5
Saturday night fever, stayin’ alive

Addington Square, Southampton Way
Concrete jungle, awash with grey

A place that has so many charms
The Sun, The Tiger, The Camberwell Arms

But! Don’t stray from the main roads after dark
No short cuts home through Burgess Park

Unlicensed minicabs, drunken fights
Jazz in the crypt late at night

Love Walk; so wistful, The Maudsley; tragic
And don’t forget Ken The Magic

Old men’s boozers and scruffy young tarts
Near Camberwell College of Arts

Flying Dutchman, full of sleaze
Farmer’s markets, organic cheese

Gentrification and local yutes
Art school posers in bovva boots

The Richardson’s legend, still fueled by fear
The Camberwell Beauty discovered here

Barred from The Hermit’s, it’s their loss
The formation of a band called Bros

Peckham to the south, Brixton; west
Camberwell, you’re still the best