Thursday, 3 March 2016

A Poem for World Book Day 2016

Leaving aside that every day can and should be World Book Day, here's a poem about books, and the compulsion to read, and the need for municipal libraries, and my grandmother, Hilda Hill. 

Hilda went on to raise eleven children between the wars but still somehow found moments to read and write her own poems. 
























On The Gloucester Road


1914


She liked finery, did your Nan, and who could blame ‘er? 
All those books in the master’s library
leather-bound, embossed with gold
and ‘er grown up with nothing? 
Small wonder she took to borrowing
sliding t’others along the shelves to ‘ide the gap. 
Then there were the times she’d climb through the window
in ‘er mistress’s best dress and blue silk drawers.
Once I saw her in a fox fur stole
down the Gloucester Road
draped over the arm of an army officer.
Good evening, Kate, she says to me, and how are you?
‘Er smile as sweeping as the Zodiac
and not a stitch of ‘er own clothing on ‘er back.


© Deborah Harvey 2014



This poem is part of a sequence of three published in my collection, Map Reading For Beginners. It and my first collection, Communion, are available from the Indigo Dreams website and usual outlets.  

My new collection of poetry, Breadcrumbs, will be published this spring, again by Indigo Dreams Publishing.  



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