Harold Pinter is a well-known playwright and used to be a local resident.
A member of the CPNAG group found a poem about Clapton, which was written by Pinter about a teacher of his.
Having attended Hackney downs school he was greatly influenced by his then English teacher Joseph Brearly. The following paragraph is an excerpt from an article written by Stephen Moss that appeared in the Guardian on Harrold Pinter, which contains a reference to a poem about Clapton Pond.
“His great influence at Hackney Downs was a teacher called Joseph Brearley, who taught him to love language, introduced him to the plays of John Webster (another lifelong passion), and cast him in Shakespeare.
When Brearley died in 1977, Pinter marked his death with a poem which ended: “You’re gone, I’m at your side, / Walking with you from Clapton Pond to Finsbury Park, And on, and on.”
The emotion, the affection and the specificity of the memories are typical of Pinter, who is a dedicated memorialist for whom the past, while lost, is recoverable.”
Joseph Brearley 1909 – 1977 (Teacher of English)
Dear Joe, I’d like to walk with you
From Clapton Pond to Stamford Hill
Through Manor House to Finsbury Park,
On the dead 653 trolleybus.
And walk across the shadows on to Hackney Downs,
And stop by the old bandstand,
You tall in the moonlight,
And the quickness in which it all happened,
And the quick shadow in which it persists.
You’re gone. I’m at your side,
Walking with you from Clapton Pond to Finsbury Park,
And on, and on.
If you know of any other poems about Clapton please let us know about them.