Posted by: aboutalbion | August 26, 2012


 For all those who, like me, had a tough time at primary school, these lines are quite
evocative …….

My parents kept me from children who were rough
and who threw words like stones and who wore torn clothes.
Their thighs showed through rags. They ran in the street
and climbed cliffs and stripped by the country streams.

I feared more than tigers their muscles like iron
and their jerking hands and their knees tight on my arms.
I feared the salt coarse pointing of those boys
who copied my lisp behind me on the road.

They were lithe, they sprang out behind hedges
like dogs to bark at our world. They threw mud
and I looked another way, pretending to smile,
I longed to forgive them, yet they never smiled.

[Stephen Spender 1909-1995]


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