Monday 24 September 2012

Getting dressed

Years ago I photocopied this poem from a magazine. I still like it very much. ‘Half-Sized Violin’ by Yehuda Amichai, translated by Chana Bloch:

I sat in the playgound where I played as a child.
The child went on playing in the sand. His hands went on
making pat-pat, then dig then destroy,
then pat-pat again.

Between the trees that little house is still standing
where the high voltage hums and threatens.
On the iron door a skull and crossbones: another
old childhood acquaintance.

When I was nine they gave me
a half-sized violin and half-sized feelings.

Sometimes I’m still overcome by pride
and a great joy: I already know
how to dress and undress
all by myself.

Today I received a letter from a local company (someone must have tipped them off) that begins: ‘Dear Mr Boyle, Imagine having someone available to help you with day-to-day tasks you struggle with such as cooking, cleaning or getting dressed . . .’

PS – There’s a new review of Andrzej Bursa’s Killing Auntie on the Book Sbob blog. The word missed out in line 3 of the short poem she quotes is ‘bladder’.


Kinga said...

I don't know what you're talking about, there is no word missed out ;-)

charles said...

Ah, it's slipped back in. Could've sworn that word wasn't there when I first read the piece - which is, by the way, excellent, Mr Bursa himself might have liked it.