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Poem of the Week - ‘Book’ by Sheenagh Pugh


I am the thought that flies in seconds 
through a man’s head, and lives for ever.
I am all he knew; I am his words
on the other side of the world,
sounding long after he dies.

I can change the world, build bridges,
change your mind, choke you with tears.
I can make a world, and man it.

Give me to a child, I am the ocean
cupped in his hands; I am all the sand
of the beach in his toy bucket.
I am the key to the walled garden,
the magic lamp, the island
where the treasure is.

I am could-be and might-have-been,
the story of the people, the store
of seed-corn. I feed the hunger
that grain leaves keen.



Heartfelt and thought-provoking. I enjoyed the clever references threaded throughout the poem and the variation in tone in each stanza. Pugh’s Book can be found in her collection Later Selected Poems, a wide selection of poetry from five individual collections by Pugh.

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