Pete Doherty finds his poetic identity

Babyshambles frontman reads war poem on TV

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Babyshambles leader and ex-Libertine Pete Doherty has chosen to read English war poet Siegfried Sassoon’s ‘Suicide In The Trenches’ for a programme to mark National Poetry Day tomorrow. This year’s theme is ‘identity’.

‘Poetry: From Pete Doherty to Andrew Motion’ will air on Artsworld, a Sky channel, tomorrow, Friday October 5, in the evening.

As well as Doherty and Motion, the programme will also feature stand-up poet Luke Wright and actor Omid Djalli. They were all asked to pick a poem that reflected a part of themselves.

Doherty commented on his personal reasons for choosing ‘Suicide In The Trenches:

“I chose the poem because my old man was always in the uniform, because he was in the army; he’d come and go wherever – Bosnia, Ireland – all over the place,” he said, comparing live performance to being in the trenches. “Getting onstage, we wanted to be in the front line…”

Doherty also recites excerpts of his own work such as ‘La Belle et La Bête’ and ‘Hooray for the 21st Century.’

Often overlooked amid the paparazzi scrum, Doherty’s poetry won him the opportunity to work with The British Council in Russia, aged just 16. He is also a published poet whose work can be found in the underground publications ‘Rising Poets’ and ‘Full Moon Empty Sports Bag’.


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