Tag Archives: childhood

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


Book review: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Karen Joy FowlerIf you can, read this book by Karen Joy Fowler without reading any reviews or comments beforehand. There is a mammoth twist, which is best avoided. I am one of the lucky few who didn’t read a spoiler before I started reading, I knew only that it was about sibling love. But even so, I did spot the surprise way before it happened, and consequently then read on waiting for the ‘twist’ promised on the cover. Which left me a little deflated. I don’t know why, I expected the twist to be near the end.

This is a very clever story, packed with philosophy, contemporary references such as Star Wars to Korean vocabulary. Rose is a student, looking back at her childhood and the disappearances, at different times, of her sister Fern and her brother Lowell. The story darts around the timeline and Rose tells different versions of her life story as she comes to terms with her life so far. Mostly this method of storytelling worked for me, but on a few occasions I admit to losing patience with Rose who I found an irritating unreliable narrator. I kept reading because the story is unusual, but my incredulity was stretched at times.

The best bit? The very last paragraph makes it worthwhile reading on, but I can’t say it’s a book I enjoyed.

Click here for Karen Joy Fowler’s website.

If you like this, try:-
‘Frog Music’ by Emma Donogue
‘Vinegar Girl’ by Anne Tyler
‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara

‘We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves’ by Karen Joy Fowler [UK: Serpent’s Tail] Buy now

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES by Karen Joy Fowler #books via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1tq