This poem, aptly titled, caught my attention immediately with the imagery of its opening quatrain and held it throughout. I admire the confident utterance, the rich and apprehensive ambiguity of that "curious creature", the balance held between eagerness and desolation, and the skill with which those abstractions (past, present, future, hopes, life itself) are made palpable. It seems to me a remarkably concentrated and mature piece of writing.
The past had melted, Like snow on the Himalayas.
The present was galloping swiftly by, A foal, following its mother.
But the future, A curious creature, Lay, unawakened, By the fireside.
We were all waiting for it to stir?
A sleeping soul, Destined never to wake up, Everyone's attention drawn to it.
Although our hopes are full, My life seems empty As I head to the future, I'll cry for the life I leave behind.
Isla Gray, aged 13, receives Back By Midnight by John Mole (Puffin).
Submitted by James Graham-Brown of Truro High School for Girls, Truro, Cornwall, who receives the Poetry Society's teachers' newsletter.
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