V was written by Leeds-born poet Tony Harrison in response to a visit to his parents’ grave in Holbeck Cemetery in 1984. He found gravestones spray painted with four-letter words. The poem re-used that foul language and was condemned by some as a “torrent of filth”.
Blake Morrison, another writer with a northern voice, presents a documentary feature about the poem and its impact. The documentary is followed by Harrison reading the poem in its entirety. If you are easily offended please don’t listen, but if you’re interested it promises to be a fascinating programme.
V is broadcast on Radio 4 at 11:00pm tonight and will then be available to listen to on the BBC iPlayer.