A poem to read in the bath… ‘The Boy Tiresias’

You may have heard of Kate Tempest [below], the rapper born in South East London, who has gone on to write poetry and plays and perform at Glastonbury.

Kate Tempest

[photo picador.com]

‘The Boy Tiresias’ is one poem from Hold Your Own, a collection about youth and experience, sex and love, wealth and poverty.

Because of copyright restrictions I am unable to reproduce the poem in full, but please search it out in an anthology or at your local library.

‘The Boy Tiresias’
Watch him, kicking a tennis ball,
keeping it up
the boy on the street in his sister’s old jumper.
Watch him,
Absorbed in the things that he does.
Crouched down,
Observing the worms and the slugs.

He’s shaping their journeys
placing his leaves in their paths,
playing with fate.
Sucking on sherbet.
Riding his bike in the sunlight.

There is a sadness at the heart of Hold Your Own, it is clear that Tempest draws on her own childhood for her poetry which is simple and at the same time rich.

For more about Kate Tempest’s poetry and music, visit her website.
Read a review of Hold Your Own, published in The Guardian.

Kate Tempest


Hold Your Own’ by Kate Tempest [UK: Picador]

Read these other excerpts, and perhaps find a new poet to love:-
‘Digging’ by Seamus Heaney
‘Poems’ by Ruth Stone
‘Winter Song’ by Wilfred Owen

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A #poem to read in the bath: ‘The Boy Tiresias’ from HOLD YOUR OWN by @katetempest via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-2tV


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