From the Top of this Hill

by Polarbear

When Camden Council started on the journey of applying to win London Borough of Culture, we knew that we wanted our bid to be shaped by Camden’s communities. Our consultation approach needed to reflect this and found that culture means something different to everybody. You can find some of these answers on the cover of this book, created in collaboration with Camden based poet Polarbear, who used our resident's feedback as inspiration for ‘From the Top of this Hill’. Read more....


From the Top of This Hill by Polarbear

From the top of this hill
looking down at the town
I see buildings like people
gathered around

Past the grave stones of heroes
to the world and the few
every shape, size and colour
comes into view

Town houses and tower blocks
stand side by side
Community spaces
Slices of life

I hear language like music
on orchestral tongues
the four corners of earth
represented in songs

I feel history breathing
tradition and pride
overlapping with futures
we’re yet to decide

Past the homes of performance
the memories of nights
those crystallised moments
on stage in the lights

The market of colours
the party of foods
the echoes of Amy
the heart in the mood

Everything moving
alive to a beat
the still of the water
reminder to breathe

The laughter from barber shops
hangs in the air
floats out into crowds
the jokes told to share

I see theatre at bus stops
monologues in the park
generations dovetailed
through support of the arts

Trains rumbling past
every bridge is alive
tourists photograph Banksy
while old locals smile

Conversations on benches
family and friends
first kisses on corners
passion and trends

It has welcomed me in
made me home from the start
to me, Camden is people
Camden is heart