Sunday, 10 July 2011

Poems: For the World Weary


I always thought poetry was inaccesible and not for me. School book readings of Hardy and Donne put me off and I didn't really get into poetry again till my mid thirties. I thought I'd share a poem that I think almost everyone can relate to by the fantastic Orange prize winning novelist, Helen Dunmore.


When You've Got by Helen Dunmore

When you’ve got the plan of your life
matched to the time it will take
but you just want to press SHIFT / BREAK
and print over and over
this is not what I was after
this is not what I was after.


When you’ve finally stripped out the house
with its iron-cold fireplace,
its mouldings, its mortgage,
its single-skin walls
but you want to write in the plaster
“This is not what I was after.”

When you’ve got the rainbow-clad baby
in his state-of-the-art pushchair
but he arches his back at you
and pulps his Activity Centre
and you just want to whisper
“This is not what I was after.”

When the vacuum seethes and whines in the lounge
and the waste-disposal unit blows,
when tenners settle in your account
like snow hitting a stove,
when you get a chat from your spouse
about marriage and personal growth,
when a wino comes to sleep in your porch
on your Citizen’s Charter
and you know a hostel’s opening soon
but your headache’s closer
and you really just want to torch
the bundle of rags and newspaper
and you’ll say to the newspaper
“This is not what we were after,
this is not what we were after.”


From ‘101 Poems That Could Save Your Life’, D. Goodwin (ed), 2003.

2 comments:

Spam Hairs said...

Have you got any Pam Ayres? x

Chris said...

Pam Ayres is a genius..."I wish I'd looked after me teeth, me teeth!"