Ahir, durant l’acte de suport als morts i ferits en l’atemptat de Manchester, el poeta Tony Walsh, conegut per Longfella, va recitar davant milers de ciutadans el seu poema ‘This is the place’ (‘Aquest és el lloc’). És un poema escrit el 2013 que fa un homenatge a la ciutat i a la gent de Manchester.

La lectura magnífica que podeu veure en aquest vídeo va sacsejar els assistents a l’acte i va convertir el dolor col·lectiu en un clam per una ciutat orgullosa del seu passat i del seu present. Fins i tot si no enteneu l’anglès (a la part inferior del vídeo, hi trobareu l’explicació de la lletra en català i l’original en anglès), paga la pena de veure com el recita Walsh i com reacciona el públic.

El poema comença definint Manchester com ‘l’indret’, el lloc on passen les coses d’ençà que al segle XVIII va esdevenir un dels centres industrials i culturals del món.

Manchester té el futbol, ​​la música que canviarà el món i la gent que fa les coses, ‘coses d’acer’ i ‘coses de cotó’. Com diu Walsh, Manchester és un lloc que ‘va ajudar a donar forma al món” Amb sufragistes com Emeline Pankhurst dels carrers de Moss Side’, que lluitaven per la igualtat de drets de les dones. Manchester és un lloc d’innovació i d’inclusió social: ‘Biblioteques i salut, l’educació i els sindicats i les cooperatives.’

Manchester ‘va inventar els ordinadors’ i té la seva ‘ànima del nord’ que marca la seva essència i la seva música. Manchester és alhora un lloc de negocis i de ball. I Walsh reivindica el llegat dels habitants de la ciutat. Referint-se a la gent que va venir a Manchester, diu: ‘Ens van construir una ciutat tossint sobre les llambordes amb el so ensordidor de les màquines fumejants.’

El poeta recorda a la gent que Manchester ha passat moments difícils: opressions, recessions, depressions…, però que la gent va sobreviure-hi i estimulà coses grans: ‘Aquest és un lloc que ajuda la gent, que no els destrueix.’ Manchester és una organització benèfica per a la gent d’aquí i donem suport als somiadors locals.

Al final del poema, la ciutat esdevé una part del cos humà. És un lloc ‘que és una part dels nostres ossos’. Manchester, diu Walsh, no oblida mai i perdurarà per sempre.

Heus ací el text complet en anglès:

This is the place
In the north-west of England. It’s ace, it’s the best
And the songs that we sing from the stands, from our bands
Set the whole planet shaking.
Our inventions are legends. There’s nowt we can’t make, and so we make brilliant music
We make brilliant bands
We make goals that make souls leap from seats in the stands

«And we make things from steel
And we make things from cotton
And we make people laugh, take the mick summat rotten
And we make you at home
And we make you feel welcome and we make summat happen
And we can’t seem to help it
And if you’re looking from history, then yeah we’ve a wealth

But the Manchester way is to make it yourself.
And make us a record, a new number one
And make us a brew while you’re up, love, go on
And make us feel proud that you’re winning the league
And make us sing louder and make us believe that this is the place that has helped shape the world
And this is the place where a Manchester girl named Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side led a suffragette city with sisterhood pride
And this is the place with appliance of science, we’re on it, atomic, we struck with defiance, and in the face of a challenge, we always stand tall, Mancunians, in union, delivered it all
Such as housing and libraries and health, education and unions and co-ops and first railway stations
So we’re sorry, bear with us, we invented commuters. But we hope you forgive us, we invented computers.
And this is the place Henry Rice strolled with rolls, and we’ve rocked and we’ve rolled with our own northern soul
And so this is the place to do business then dance, where go-getters and goal-setters know they’ve a chance
And this is the place where we first played as kids. And me mum, lived and died here, she loved it, she did.

And this is the place where our folks came to work, where they struggled in puddles, they hurt in the dirt and they built us a city, they built us these towns and they coughed on the cobbles to the deafening sound to the steaming machines and the screaming of slaves, they were scheming for greatness, they dreamed to their graves.
And they left us a spirit. They left us a vibe. That Mancunian way to survive and to thrive and to work and to build, to connect, and create and Greater Manchester’s greatness is keeping it great.
And so this is the place now with kids of our own. Some are born here, some drawn here, but they all call it home.
And they’ve covered the cobbles, but they’ll never defeat, all the dreamers and schemers who still teem through these streets.
Because this is a place that has been through some hard times: oppressions, recessions, depressions, and dark times.
But we keep fighting back with Greater Manchester spirit. Northern grit, Northern wit, and Greater Manchester’s lyrics.

And these hard times again, in these streets of our city, but we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity.
Because this is a place where we stand strong together, with a smile on our face, greater Manchester forever.
And we’ve got this place where a team with a dream can get funding and something to help with a scheme.
Because this is a place that understands your grand plans. We don’t do “no can do” we just stress “yes we can”
Forever Manchester’s a charity for people round here, you can fundraise, donate, you can be a volunteer. You can live local, give local, we can honestly say, we do charity different, that Mancunian way.
And we fund local kids, and we fund local teams. We support local dreamers to work for their dreams. We support local groups and the great work they do. So can you help us. help local people like you?
Because this is the place in our hearts, in our homes, because this is the place that’s a part of our bones.
Because Greater Manchester gives us such strength from the fact that this is the place, we should give something back.

Always remember, never forget, forever Manchester

[VilaWeb no és com els altres. Fer un diari compromès i de qualitat té un cost alt i només amb el vostre suport econòmic podrem continuar creixent. Cliqueu aquí.]