I Read Therefore I Am discussion

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Poem of the Day > 179 - Soap Suds - Louis Macneice

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message 1: by Hilary (new)

Hilary | 2082 comments This brand of soap has the same smell as once in the big
House he visited when he was eight: the walls of the bathroom open
To reveal a lawn where a great yellow ball rolls back through a hoop
To rest at the head of a mallet held in the hands of a child.

And these were the joys of that house: a tower with a telescope;
Two great faded globes, one of the earth, one of the stars;
A stuffed black dog in the hall; a walled garden with bees;
A rabbit warren; a rockery; a vine under glass; the sea.

To which he has now returned. The day of course is fine
And a grown-up voice cries Play! The mallet slowly swings,
Then crack, a great gong booms from the dog-dark hall and the ball
Skims forward through the hoop and then through the next and then

Through hoops where no hoops were and each dissolves in turn
And the grass has grown head-high and an angry voice cries Play!
But the ball is lost and the mallet slipped long since from the hands
Under the running tap that are not the hands of a child.


message 2: by Hilary (new)

Hilary | 2082 comments I think this poem has a bit of mystery about it. I can't really y work out where he is and if he is troubled by the angry voice or if the final few lines are just describing the confusion we have when we suddenly come back to ourselves from being lost in our memories.

It's strange how a smell or sound can catapult us into our childhood memories, I just have to smell chimney smoke and I'm back to playing hide and seek in winter nights when I was small.


message 3: by Lee (new)

Lee I love this - it's almost as if his memory has turned into a bad dream.
By the way - I would love a globe showing the stars.


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