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Experiences of Manchester


In our final week of meeting with the group we completed the individual work we had begun the week before. The expectation was that at the end of the process, each participant would have written a poem about their experience of being in Manchester. Thoughts for this poem had been generated by getting participants to respond to a series of questions about what their experiences had been, what their thoughts had been about their new home city.


The questions were as follows:


Your experience of being in Manchester

  1. If Manchester was a colour what would it be?
  2. If Manchester was a time of day what would it be?
  3. If Manchester was a vehicle/method of transport what would it be?
  4. If Manchester was a plant/tree/flower what would it be?
  5. If Manchester was a kitchen item what would it be?
  6. If Manchester was a food what would it be?
  7. If Manchester was a liquid what would it be?
  8. If Manchester was an emotion what would it be?
  9. If Manchester was a piece of clothing what would it be?
  10. If Manchester was a type of weather what would it be?



Manchester, Manchester, Manchester

The sky is greyish and oh so blue.

3 p.m. in the afternoon.

Like driving a brand new sports car, a fire red Ferrari.

Beautiful scattered seeds from a dandelion in the summer.

A blending of many cultures and ethnicities.

Plain rice is what we all eat. We eat it with what

We like to add to it. Sauce or no sauce. Meat or veg.

Exotic fruit juice, refreshing and delicious.

Hope for a better future. Hope for a better life.

Winter coats worn in the winter.

Shorts in the summer.

Cloudy rain, it is so rainy here in the Northwest.



Rain, rain, rain

If Manchester is liquid it would be water

There is water in the fountains in Piccadilly Gardens

The river Irwell is like a snake of greenery through Manchester

Many canals bring water to the city

Manchester is full of water.

Rain, rain, rain.



Manchester is like the green of the trees

Like the red of its United Football team.

Manchester is two o’clock in the afternoon

People returning to work after lunch in the park

It is a bus, crowded, like at rush hour

So busy in the mornings between 8 and 9

Manchester is the yellow of the daffodils,

The red of the tulips

Growing in the middle of the road, bright and beautiful

Seeing them makes me feel relaxed and happy.

Sometimes Manchester is like a broken plate

Angry people, feeling no good,

Passing their bad mood on.

It is like sugar, sweet, white and brown

Like its people,

It makes everything taste better.

Manchester is water

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