Gooin’ T’ Schoo Joseph Ramsbottom
Title:Gooin' t' Schoo
Publication:Manchester University Press
This poem, with the rhyme scheme ABABCDCD, is arranged in eight octet stanzas. Its metre is iambic tetrameter, but typically with Ramsbottom’s verse, the piece does not appear song-like but conversational when recited. Also typical of Ramsbottom is that he takes subjects which other Lancashire dialect writers tend to address with a collective voice and uses first person monologues to interrogate social concerns through an individual character.
This is one of eleven Cotton Famine poems which feature in Brian Hollingworth’s Songs of the People: Lancashire dialect poetry of the industrial revolution (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1977), the most significant anthology of such works during the twentieth century. It is significant in that its shift of register from despairing to hopeful reflects that many people found at least a common purpose, a solidarity, during the Cotton Famine, and also that the educational programmes which were developed during the crisis had a lasting positive social effect.