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Memories and Greeting Cards

A biscuit tin my Booba tossed aside
I found and cleaned, restored its shape
  and shine,
A swarm of memories buzzed inside my
And now this old-time memory tin is

Dickensian house, once home for trusted
Reduced to a shabby immigrant abode,
With Booba crossing — with six hand-
  locked kids
To Mrs Streimer’s choc-shop — Hackney

A friend not seen in ages sends her card,
Of polished greetings... And my mind
  now stirs
With images of friends and friendly
Deep–rooted in the un-returning years.
Unique antiques! Old memories have no
  fellow —
They can’t be bought or sold on

Moss Rich (1910-2011) A Psalm of Consequences for Those Who Can’t Keep Up Monthly Payments  Selected Poems (2011)

He’s an inventive,wry, witty, and very human poet of everyday experience
John Davies, The South

A lively ironic wit expressed through delightful rhymes, word-play and idea-play
Tim Shelton-Jones, Brighton Nightwriters

When you read them you want to share them with your friends

Moss Rich is in his 101st year, yet his verse has a springing youthfulness that flies in the face of age, as well as political (and poetical) correctness. Through Betjemanesque bi-focals Rich draws on both the humour and the pathos in life’s routines. Allied to a satirical streak, and irrepressible biblical lampooning, is a sharp political eye and an instinctive empathy for the impecunious. Poems such as ‘Memories and Greeting Cards’ are little triumphs, reminiscent of the recently revived oeuvre of Harold Monro.
Alan Morrison


ISBN 978-1-906742-33-1


That Moss Rich is a rare phenomenon is the least interesting thing about him. Nevertheless, Britain’s oldest practising poet is 101 this year, unlikely as say a precocious poet of 10. Both extremes of youth and age militate against our fluent notions of exposition, material, freshness, verve. Rich has these in the most curious abundance: youth and age crab together here in a powerful collision of old and new values, material, contemporary and arcane expressions.

He writes from the point of view of a skilled man in a trade that’s almost vanished but a trade interestingly which allowed him access to all sorts of printed and unprintable opinions. …‘A Patch of Land’ is incomparably Moss Rich’s finest work... This long poem stands at the heart of the collection, but there’s an unsurprising thematic pull to mortality too. ‘The Thinking Man’ shows the kind of unbalancing smugness and sudden flip-over that belies any notion that the Queen’s Telegram may ward off Rich’s biting east wind sensibility…

from the Introduction by Simon Jenner


Moss Rich was born in London on 16th September 1910. He left school in 1926, having matriculated with distinction in English. He went on to the senior school of commerce in
the Regent Street Polytechnic (now Westminster University). He married in October 1939 and moved to Bloomsbury.

He worked for some years in the timber trade, first as clerk, then advertising manager, then
editor of a trade journal. Later, Rich joined his wife Milly’s new business importing tropical seashell, and they relocated to Brighton.

In 1975, Rich had a poem satirising Harold Wilson’s Government published in the Times. This sparked a vocation in verse spanning nearly forty years. Rich’s debut chapbook, Requiem for a Typewriter, was published by Pighog in 2005. A further volume, Good Morning Sunshine, appeared two years later, followed by a long poem pamphlet, A Patch of Land to House Six Million Ghosts (2010).

In this, Rich’s Selected Poems, Waterloo Press brings together freshly edited versions of some of Rich’s previously published
work with a selection of newer
unpublished poems, to present the cream of Rich’s oeuvre.

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