Sunday, January 13, 2008


I fumbled amongst all the assorted drawings and stories my daughter had brought home at the end of term from the Ted Hughes School for Girls that she and her sister attend. I was looking for the DVD of the nativity play; my daughter was a crow, I was so proud of her, when I came across a poem she had written. I always worried she might have heard her father and I discussing moving house again. Now I could see that my fears had been realised.

She has done it again
One year in every otto, neun or zehn she manages it
To pack up the lampshade and paperweight
Cancel the german class
Dream of book launches
Downshifting is an art
She does it exceptionally well
Whenever her agent makes the call
She says it makes her feel real
But to me it feels like hell
She is always the same identical woman
I don’t know why she doesn’t stay put
But that lacks the theatrical
And doesn’t explore the feminist dialectic
Thank goodness the aga’s not gas, just electric
Unwrapping herself hand and foot
For the peanut munching crowd
These are her thoughts, her soul, and my childhood
Muttered into her dictafone head set
buried in The North and she’s not even dead yet
But further north still might she go for inspirational air?
Up to where everybody has red hair
The locals had better beware, beware

Tilly super, aged seven and three quarters

I looked at the teacher's comments in red pen underneath. 'A little derivative Tilly', said the note, 'see me after school' . That seemed a little harsh for a seven year old, I thought. I put down the crumpled paper. I could see my daughter was starting to think about the important things in life but at her young impressionable age there was still something she hadn’t grasped: There’s no money in poetry you silly girl; tales of downshifting woe are where the cash is at. I looked up and as down in the valley the rain swollen waters washed over the bared roots of river bank trees under the dark northern sky I thought of home and turned on the radio


Mopsa said...

Ha! I wouldn't worry about Tilly's teacher - she can't even spell. Not a good thing for someone attempting to mark poetry. Give the young gal a rolo and have one for yourself.

rilly super said...

well you know the pressure these teachers are under mospsa! I'm sure if she had had time to proof read it before someone else spotted it she would have changed it, sigh. I had better change it to save her embarrassment.

aims said...

Oh - this is dark Rilly - very dark. Eyes into the soul sort of thing. Perhaps your little one needs a pony?

Motheratlarge said...

Pure poetry, Rilly.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Oh I do love that poem, I studied it in my teenage years of angst. Come to think of it, not sure those years of angst have passed. Yours clearly haven't dear Rilly, just hang on in there, don't make a lampshade of yourself just yet.
in fact I mean, don't EVER make a lampshade of yourself, poor taste you know.

@themill said...

One rather imagines that the warbling Robin somewhat resembles Fabio - in which case Massachusetts will be most appropriate.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Hard to believe the Bee Gees were singing that over forty years ago!.... Something's telling me I must go home!... But where is home?

lady thinker said...

No there's not much money to be made in poetry Rilly, but unmade beds now ... I've just seen what Scaatchi paid for Tracey's unmade bed ... I'm sure a woman of your subtlety will be able to influence your daughter along the right path...

rilly super said...

aims, I'm worried the school is having a bad influence on my darlings. I would get them a pony but I fear they wouldn't want to give up their dead pig, sigh

motheratlarge, it's lovely to see you. I'm glad you think my daughter has a future in publishing, because if Strife in the North bombs in the book shops I'll be relying on Milly and Tilly to keep me in the manner to which I have become acustomed...

PITK, you seem much the most grounded person I know, I can't imagine you suffering angst, but I agree it is quite a one for that 'dragged through a hedge backwards' feeling ( the original, I mean ) that the young are so drawn to, although here in the north of course that sensation is often achieved by being dragged through an actual hedge, there being plenty of hedges and not many libraries in the countyside, sigh

@mill, well, now you mention it there was that time I stood on my husband's indispensable PA's foot which produced a sound known I believe as stilleto falsetto...

yorkshire pudding, I think you understand me better than my husband, sigh

ladythinker, I could try and do a Tracy Emin tent, but all those names of men I've slept with, how far back am I allowed to go because I'm not sure even my husband could qualify unless I go back to arhaeological time scales...

@themill said...

Rilly sweetie, one imagines if the book should fail you could base one on the comments.

EmmaK said...

Oh, do encourage Tilly super, she can write pop ditties for the next generation of plastic titted pop starlets!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Ah Rilly, she truly is a chip off the old block with that talent ..

rilly super said...

@mill, the comments are always better than the blog here at SITN, sigh, but I couldn't possibly nick other people's stuff, I leave that to my daughter, sigh

Emma, now you come to mention it I can see her as a kind of simone cowell. she does look a bit like him when she puts my husband's trousers on in fact

M&M, now there are two ways I could take that if I didn't know you better dear :-)

Mr Farty said...

I see you found my photo...sigh...

Toot toot!