Poetry Turnstile: Gwen Harwood

This is part (my favourite part) of Harwood’s ‘A Simple Story’.


I dreamed of a soaring passion

as an egg might dream of flight,

while he read my crude sonata.

If he’d said, ‘That bar’s not right’


or,  ‘Have you thought of a coda?’

or, ‘Watch that first repeat,’

or, ‘Modulate to the dominant,’

he’d have had me at his feet.


But he shuffled it all together,

and said, ‘That’s lovely, dear,’

as he put it down on the washstand

in a way that made it clear


that I was no composer.

And I being young and vain,

removed my lovely body

from one who’d scorned my brain.


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