He can make a sculptureand fabulous machines, invent games, tell jokes,give solemn, adult advice-but he is slow to read.When I take him on my kneewith his Ladybird bookhe gazes into the air,sighing and shaking his headlike an old manwho knows the mountainsare impassable. He toys with words,letting them go coldas gristly meat,until I relentand let […]
There is no frigate like a book
/ To take us lands away,
/ Nor any coursers like a page
It’s like painting / the Forth Bridge / without the fresh air / and fear / of drowning.
for Robyn Marsack
/ Go take a book down from the shelf and open it.
/ Listen, this isn’t ‘book’ but box,
/ box full…
so much light here –
sun’s rhythm in each wall…
flow of thoughts on the shelves,
radiant lamp of the books
You who read…
/ May you seek
/ As you look;
/ May you keep
/ What you need;
/ May you care
/ What you choose;
/ And know here
/ In this book
/ Something strange,
As from the house your mother sees
/ You playing round the garden trees,
/ So you may see, if you will look
/ Through the…
Public libraries / were cherished like Pallas Athene’s temples, / which, for us, in effect, they were.
I turn a page and a bird dives.
/ The bay is blue and nameless.
/ It comes up, rows air.
/ I turn a page…
The soldier boys know nothing / of the world but how to end it.
Brooke, R., 1914 & Other Poems (Complete Press,
/ 28th impression, 1920). Restrained, a story of memory,
/ navy-bound with a firmament of stains,…
At evening when the lamp is lit,
/ Around the fire my parents sit;
/ They sit at home and talk and sing,
/ And do…