Longley once said of his painting Man Lying on a Wall,
"People...refuse to believe me when I tell them I saw a man dressed just like that, doing just that, from the top of a bus at Haslingden. It was the umbrella propped against the wall which caught my eye and prompted the picture...The chap was well-dressed, obviously enjoying the smoke and his rest. I couldn't resist doing him as a subject" .
While we are aware that the painting is just that, a real life portrait, it's difficult not to give further thought to the man on the wall. It's too tempting to ask why he lies as he does in such an unexpected and unappealing place. Norman Parry, former Poet In Residence at The Lowry in Salford Quays, has also dedicated a poem to this question with his own Man Lying on a Wall: