What this blog is and how to use it

This blog contains poems that have caught my attention over the years. Many of the poems I've discussed and explored with 16 -19 year old students in my capacity as lecturer in English.

Browse the list of poems by scrolling down the page or read the titles of poems or names of poets in the sidebar 'Poem Titles and Poets'. Then click on the title or poet.

Monday 8 June 2020

Half-past Two by U. A. Fanthorpe

U. A. Fanthorpe

Once upon a schooltime
He did Something Very Wrong
(I forget what it was).

And She said he’d done
Something Very Wrong, and must
Stay in the school-room till half-past two.

(Being cross, she’d forgotten
She hadn’t taught him Time.
He was too scared at being wicked to remind her.)

He knew a lot of time: he knew
Gettinguptime, timeyouwereofftime,
Timetogohomenowtime, TVtime,

Timeformykisstime (that was Grantime).
All the important times he knew,
But not half-past two.

He knew the clockface, the little eyes
And two long legs for walking,
But he couldn’t click its language,

So he waited, beyond onceupona,
Out of reach of all the timefors,
And knew he’d escaped for ever
Into the smell of old chrysanthemums on Her desk,
Into the silent noise his hangnail made,
Into the air outside the window, into ever.

And then, My goodness, she said,
Scuttling in, I forgot all about you.
Run along or you’ll be late.

So she slotted him back into schooltime,
And he got home in time for teatime,
Nexttime, notimeforthatnowtime,

But he never forgot how once by not knowing time,
He escaped into the clockless land for ever,
Where time hides tick-less waiting to be born.

Click here to buy the Selected Poems of U. A. Fanthorpe

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