Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Thursday Poem


Young Woman Reading by a Window by Delphin Enjolras


The Lesson

'Your father's gone', my bald headmaster said,
His shiny dome and brown tobacco jar
Splintered at one in tears. It wasn't grief.
I cried for knowledge which was bitterer
Than any gried. For there and then I knew
That grief has uses - that a father dead
Can bind the bully's fist for a week or two;
And then I cried for shame, then for relief.

I was a month past ten when I learnt this:
I still remember how the noise was stilled
In school-assembly when my grief came in.
Some goldfish in a bowl quietly sculled
Around their shining prison on its shelf.
They were indifferent. All the other eyes
Were turned towards me. Somewhere in myself
Pride, like a goldfish, flashed a sudden fin.

Edward Lucie-Smith
(27th February 1933 - )

from the book: Poem for the Day One

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