National Poem of Thanks to Our Nation’s Publicans

A ‘National Poem of Thanks to Our Nation’s Publicans’ has been written and performed by Alexandra Ewing, the daughter of a former Suffolk publican. The poem is to say a huge thank you to publicans, who despite the immense and ever-changing challenges to their own businesses, continue to demonstrate an ongoing resilience, tenacity and innovation in these unprecedented time.

Alexandra is an actor, movement director and artist based in Bury St. Edmunds. She was born into pubs, in which she lived for all her childhood and the experience still frames her life, influenced by the generosity of spirit shown by her publican parents. Alexandra graduated from Guildford School of Acting in 2018 and moved back to her home county to work with Suffolk theatre makers such as tusk., The Keeper’s Daughter and INK. Alexandra began forming poetry in late 2019 after creating her first piece for the stage, ‘Impatience,’ a ballet-with-words.


The Public House Rumbles

By Alexandra Ewing


We hear it before we arrive

At the door you hold open like a beating heart

Voices upon chinks and clinks and sloshes and swills and bawling, singing sounds

Conducted by you

A rumble


Through the floorboards, within the walls, we feel your industry

The weaving of art and intuition with which you



Embrace a world-sized room

With a rumble


Patience is poured

And joy rolled, tapped, lightly on the tongue fizzing with Coca-Cola from the gun and

So many stories, memory eddying in the air

Lifted in the rumble


Glinting against glasses you carry in shatter-less towers

Fuelled by barrels of generosity and curiosity

It smells like beer and smoke and cheese and cheer

And crinkles the way packets of crisps

Are shared between staff and strangers when the movement shifts

This rumble


Brave as whiskey

Bold as brass

A laugh like a bell

And a warmth unmatched, built hearth upon hearth

Your house rumbles


A hum, steady and strong

Brewed, stoppered, popped with applause

That heart open with song

Worn on your sleeve next to a hand all can grasp

Beating in rhythm to your rumble.