Both Louis Dunford and William Blake write about London in a way that makes us feel so strongly about the city. Let’s compare ‘The Angel (North London Forever)’ and ‘London’ – and then write our own poem!

  • MUSIC FOCUS: Louis Dunford.
  • ACTIVITY FOCUS: Consider the range of different poetic meters, then write your own poem.


Watch the video to Louis Dunford’s ‘The Angel’.


Louis writes about his own life. What different aspects of his life does he focus on? Jot down your ideas (create a list or spiderdiagram).

As I walk these streets alone / through this borough I call home
Upon the barren fields of Highbury / ‘neath the stadiums of stone
Through the turnstiles at The Angel, / see the homeless on the green
From The Cally to The Cross, / and every shithole in between

Pass the church, the mosque, a crack den, / and the offie on the corner
See the brasses from the brothel / that pretends to be a sauna
Watch the bedlam in the bookies / see the winners and the losers
Seeking solace from their sorrow / in the local battle cruisers…..

Through the madness in the market, weathered faces turn to greet ya
“‘Ello gov’nor, how’s your mother?” / “You alright, son, be lucky, geezer”
Double pie and mash and liquor, / a cuppa Rosie Lee up chap
Or watch retired gangsters bicker, / every day in Arthur’s caff

The little fuckers causing trouble, / for the cozzers make you smile
You meet ya muckers for a couple, / forget your troubles for a while
From The Thornhill to The Hemmy, / all the faces are the same
‘Cause the manor might be changing, / but the people still remain

North London forever
Whatever the weather, these streets are our own
And my heart will leave you, never
My blood will forever, run through the stone

As I walk these streets alone, / through a kingdom made of chrome
I see them ripping up the cobbles, / and tearing down our childhood homes
I see the architecture changing, / watch the history disappear
And the skyline rearranging / into towers of veneer

But I see the remnants of a London / that they thought they could erase
Every time I hear the old school talk / about the good old days
Or every time I watch the football / and have a ruby with the lads
See an hoister selling clobber / or a dealer shooting bags

It’s in the single mothers juggling / a baby and a job
In every single brother struggling / that wound up in the dock
It’s in the roots and the foundations, / still clinging to the land
It’s in the bricks that built the Morland / and Popham that still stand

It’s in my family and my friends, / in every gram and every Benz
It’s in the roots that we inherit / when a generation ends
It’s in the ruins of your youth / and the faces of your past
‘Cause the manor might be changing, / but the people always last

North London forever
Whatever the weather, these streets are our own
And my heart will leave you, never
My blood will forever, run through the stone

The Angel - North London Forever — Louis Dunford |


Consider these questions:

  1. What do you make of the rhythm/meter?
  2. How many syllables does Dunford use in each line?
  3. What effect does the meter have on the mood and feel of the poem?
  4. Does the meter fit with the poem’s content and Dunford’s intent?


Now, think about William Blake’s ‘London’ and the poet’s use of iambic tetrameter.

  1. How would you compare the two writers’ feelings about London?
  2. How are the writers’ respective feelings underlined by their individual metrical choices?
  3. Can you pick out quotes from Dunford’s ‘The Angel (North London Forever)’ that compare or contrast directly with quotes from Blake’s ‘London’?

Look here for the meaning of iambic tetrameter and here for an insight into a wider range of poetic meters.


You are now going to plan a poem inspired by ‘The Angel (North London Forever’. Decide what details you want to write about in your own poem. Maybe you’ll zoom in on a range of characters and people just as Louis does. Or maybe you’ll decide to focus on just one person or specific place. Brainstorm any ideas you have.


Create a more detailed plan if needed, then write your poem.

Maybe you’ll name it after the place you live in or a place that means the most to you. Or maybe you’ll name it after a particular person. Or maybe you’ll have a different idea! Your main aim is to capture the essence of a place – or a person/people – important to you.

Make sure to consider your meter. What kind of mood or pace do you want to create? Choose the meter that will help you create the desired effect!

Please do send your own writing in. We want to publish the most exciting writing and offer advice.

Then, have another go at writing another poem about your own life with help from Something Corporate songwriter Andrew McMahon!