'Nose' & 'Happy Birthday'


On the surface, “Noses” may look like a standard visual poem about one wishing they had “a different nose”. Although funny and a tad bit cynical, there is a deeper meaning to the poem. I wrote it through assessing my heritage while asking myself “why do I have this specific nose?” My nose is big and ugly and houses pimples on it. I’m sure many people feel like I do. The other day I bumped into a friend from primary school who I haven’t seen in eleven years. He instantly recognised me and said this was down to my very “noticeable nose”. I felt like bashing his head in because of that comment. However, I’m stuck with what I got – unless I get a nose job (if I save up from now until I’m eighty-six). So the poem is me complaining about my nose to the world hoping to get some sympathy from people.

“Happy Birthday”

This poem demonstrates my cynicism at its finest. I used a “Happy Birthday” piano music sheet and replaced the song lyrics with “you are not made from love…” I love exploring sound in my poetry, and this was another way to do that. Usually, the song connotes happiness (the clue is in the title) and radiances festivity and good times. Yet, I come along and said “no, that’s all crap – look at what I do to this” (the equivalent of a mic drop). I wrote “Happy Birthday” to play around with sound in a format I’m familiar with, and fill it up with lots of cynicism.

Arun Jeetoo is a third year English & Creative Writing Student at The University of Roehampton.

Want to know about? Read our interview with him here