UK

Brian Bilston's 'Refugee' Poem Moves Thousands With Brilliant Hidden Message

Masterfully done!

24/03/2016 12:24 GMT | Updated 24/03/2016 12:26 GMT
Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Campaigners protest the response to the refugee crisis from the government

A poet has forced people to re-think their prejudice against refugees with a startling poem highlighting the plight of those fleeing conflict and persecution.

Brian Bilston's simply titled 'refugee' verse won praise for recounting the pains suffered by those seeking asylum in Europe in unexpected fashion - and in just 24 lines. 

Read top-to-bottom as normal, his piece says refugees "are not welcome here", calls on them to "go back to where they came from" and says "a place should only belong to those who are born there".

But the poet adds a small request at the end of his poem: "Now read from bottom-to-top". And the results are really something else... 

The author, known to his fans as the "Poet Laureate of Twitter”, won heaps of praise on social media. 

Here's his masterful piece in full: 

They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or I
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers 
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
Welcome here
We should make them
Go back to where they came from 
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way

(Now read from bottom to top)

Bilston is no stranger to crafting cleverly-composed poetry. In 2015 he won the Great British Write Off poetry prize for a poem disguised in a Venn diagram.