In 1991 Rob’s Mum, Wendy, wrote a poem, Forward, relating to the Forward motto which is connected to the city of Birmingham. The poem was written in praise of the city’s early pioneering men and women.
Rob was inspired by Wendy’s poem to write The Citizens, his own version of Forward but from a different perspective.
Both poems are given here.
FORWARD – Forever Onward
by W. L. Priddey
Forward Brothers, Sisters,
Forward, is the word.
Strive for lives more promising.
Make your voices heard.
Show your mettle in your work,
In music and in art.
We have always been the leaders
Right from the very start!
Our forefathers were clever men
They set the world alight.
“Forward” is the motto
Keep our beacon shining bright.
The Citizens: a sonnet of the people of Birmingham
by R. S. Priddey
“Forward, brothers, sisters, forward!
Forward to the light of dawn!
Onward from your mists and darkness
Toward the bright and breaking morn!”
“We shall go forward, sirs, we shall!”
The crowds move tamely to their fate.
“But wait, and think, sirs, if you will:
Have you made this city great?
Is it that you strive too hard
To gild with gaudy sun-bright paint
Her shining silver crown innate?
Oh stop and think, sirs, if you will:
Was it you, or her bright self,
Who made this noble city great?”