The Poet Laureate has written an exclusive poem for a regional daily after the report into the Hillsborough disaster revealed the truth about the tragedy.
Carol Ann Duffy has written the moving piece for the Liverpool Echo, which was praised by Labour leader Ed Miliband for its “Justice for the 96″ campaign.
She penned the piece to mark the publication of the report by an independent panel which found that police and ambulance service statements were doctored in an attempt to deflect blame for the 1989 disaster.
The Echo published a special edition on the day of the report which was on the newsstands by 5pm.
The report also revealed that the Sheffield-based Whites Press Agency was the source of an infamous Sun story blaming drunken Liverpool fans for the crush, and that 41 of the 96 fans who might have been saved had the emergency services acted differently.
Ms Duffy is a University of Liverpool graduate and became Poet Laureate in May 2009.
She has since written poems on events of national significance, such as the Royal wedding, the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee.
Her poem, which was published for the first time in today’s edition of the Echo, reads:
THE Cathedral bell, tolled, could never tell;
nor the Liver Birds, mute in their stone spell;
or the Mersey, though seagulls wailed, cursed, overhead,
in no language for the slandered dead…
not the raw, red throat of the Kop, keening,
or the cops’ words, censored of meaning;
not the clock, slow handclapping the coroner’s deadline,
or the memo to Thatcher, or the tabloid headline…
but fathers told of their daughters; the names of sons
on the lips of their mothers like prayers; lost ones
honoured for bitter years by orphan, cousin, wife -
not a matter of football, but of life.
Over this great city, light after long dark;
truth, the sweet silver song of the lark.