Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

Z is for Young People’s Poet and Performer Benjamin Zephaniah, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA


Benjamin Zephaniah

Dr Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah was born and raised in Birmingham, England. Amazingly, he is dyslexic, and when he left school at 13, he couldn’t read or write; but by 15 he had a strong following in Handsworth for his accessible poetry, strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls ‘street politics’. His poetry book for children, Talking Turkeys, illustrated by The Point, was an immediate bestseller. He has also written several novels aimed specifically at teenagers, as well as several collections of poetry. Benjamin Zephaniah’s website with all his books on is here, and he is available through United Agents.

Here is a brilliant poem, reproduced by kind permission of Benjamin Zephaniah. It appears in his book Wicked World, illustrated by Sarah Symonds, published by Puffin Books.




To walk to

To talk to

To cry and rely on,

People will always need people.

To love and to miss

To hug and to kiss,

It’s useful to have other people.

To whom will you moan

If you’re all alone,

It’s so hard to share

When no one is there,

There’s not much to do

When there’s no one but you,

People will always need people.


To please

To tease

To put you at ease,

People will always need people.

To make life appealing

And give life some meaning.

It’s useful to have other people,

If you need a change

To whom will you turn,

If you need a lesson

From whom will you learn,

If you need to play

You’ll know why I say

People will always need people.


As girlfriends

As boyfriends,

From Bombay

To Ostend,

People will always need people.

To have friendly fights with

And share tasty bites with,

It’s useful to have other people,

People live in families

Gangs, posses and packs,

It seems we need company

Before we relax,

So stop making enemies

And let’s face the facts,

People will always need people,


People will always need people.


© Benjamin Zephaniah (This poem is taken from the book Wicked World, published by Puffin Books. Reproduced with the permission of Benjamin Zephaniah.)

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

If you’d like to see some more Blogs from the A-Z Challenge, click the link on the A-Z Blog Challenge 2018 logo in the right-hand column.


Award-Wining Children's Poet, Author, Wildlife and Climate enthusiast, NPD Ambassador, blogger and owner of Lola the retired alert dog and Paddy the alert dog in training. Books include CLiPPA shortlisted Being Me, Poems about Thoughts, Worries and Feelings, Editor of Shaping the World, Author of Be the Change, Apes to Zebras, The Same Inside, Reaching the Stars and Animal Magic. I visit schools, libraries, literary festivals via Zoom and give lessons on writing poetry for children. @Lizpoet

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