An Ode to the Postcode

World Poetry Slam Champion Harry Baker joined AFD Software’s Annual Charity Event and 40th Anniversary Celebrations to deliver “An Ode to the Postcode”.

When not writing poems about The Postcode People at AFD, celebrating charitable donations and the importance of postcodes! Harry writes about a wide range of topics including hope, dinosaurs and German falafel-spoons. His work has been shared on and viewed millions of times worldwide, as well as being translated into over 20 different languages.

His latest collection ‘Unashamed’ was published with Burning Eye in 2022 and he has been sharing poems from it at every available opportunity ever since.

Harry’s work has been described as “Absolutely beautiful” by Zoe Ball, hailed as “a champion” by Ed Sheeran and “Epic” by Ice Cube.

Here is his poem in full.

An Ode to the Postcode

Some heroes wear capes, some come dressed in Lycra
Some swing on webs once they’re bitten by spiders
Often the heroes are ones that we don’t know
Here’s an ode to the unsung hero: the postcode.

First trialled in Norwich, they mustered up history
Imparting knowledge with such specificity
No need for sonnets or colourful imagery
Just alphanumeric pure rugged efficiency

It starts with the area code:
You might pop to Preston for the good PR
Or choose to chuck Coventry on your CV
If you dwell in Darlington, keep it on the DL
Or head to Huddersfield for life in HD

If you wanna get online, take a trip to Ipswich
An IP address gives you all that you need
Of if you’re in Belfast and you need to bell fast
I can guarantee your phone line comes from BT

The next digits give you the district:
If central Newcastle is your fixed abode
You can always say yes to: “Is NE1 home?”
Or if school’s in South Peterborough and Gym’s not for you –
In all likelihood you’ll avoid PE2

Catch me walking round Hayes in a Daze for sure
Getting Deja Vu – I’ve seen UB4!
Or this happens all of the time:
Does a German reluctant
to solve workplace conflicts
in outer Herefordshire
go and see HR? Nein…

Finally you have the sector and unit:
If we find ourselves on the Isle of Man
And think King Edward Road is where we should meet
There’s no need for stress or contriving plans,
Just know that: IM3 2AT

Imagine if Frodo had known Mordor’s postcode
The eagles could have dropped him off and then flown home,
there’s no place like home for Dorothy and Toto
But it could have helped show where the yellow brick road goes

Way back when if I’d said I’m on the High Street
There were 5,410 I could mean.
Now the 3,811 Station Roads
Can all be separated by these basic codes.

It’s like we’re all Disney princesses, white as snow
How up to 7 small characters can guide us home
They may not see through walls or have super speed
They just help you get to where you need to be

Which brings us to AFD:
The first ones to use postcode data online
To help companies comfortably contact their clients
And just like anyone who’s made lots of bucks
They spent all their profits on planes, yachts and trucks!

The truck was for Beach Buddies cleaning our shores
The plane to deliver supplies to the poor
The yacht for disabled folk sailing on board
And they’ve donated so much to so many more.

Given their work it seems only apt,
The Postcode People put these on the map
They may not have super strength, or be angry and green
They’ve helped others get to where they need to be

All of this founded on strong Christian values
Enacted in every thing that they do
As they’ve given to hundreds of organisations
There’s power in people, and postcodes too

Jesus cleanses the sins of whoever confesses
They cleanse your database of duplicate addresses
Jesus fed thousands and walked onto water
They validate thousands of emails,
and that’s also important.

We know the Lord works in mysterious ways
And yet through him and through them there’s millions raised.
Long may his work continue through AFD
As he helps us all get to where we need to be.

Some heroes can fly, some are quick as a flash
Some become weirdly obsessive with bats
Often the heroes are ones that we don’t know
This goes out to the unsung hero: the postcode.

More information about Harry and his work can be found here. 

His Ted Talks can be found here. 

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