Young Poet;TES Young Poet of the week;Poem;My haircut by Alex Richmond

15th October 1999 at 01:00
Some things never change. The only time I ever voluntarily wore the school cap was to hide a new haircut, putting off the inevitable ridicule. We can sense that Alex Richmond enjoyed writing this, and the humour is irresistible. I like the winning combination of honesty and exaggeration; the poem is both entertaining and serious, without taking itself seriously. It is an apparently unself-conscious poem about painful self-consciousness, surprisingly well-controlled and confident; the voice is authentic and the tone, ranging from playfulness to exasperation, is finely done. The poem moves cheekily in and out of rhyme, and 'you dumb clutz' is a great last line; a complete surprise.


Sometimes I go

To school and

Everyone laughs

At me. I have

A look in the

Mirror - my hair's

Sticking up all

Over the place,

'Cos it's just

On its own.

My hair needs me,

Else I will be

A victim of the

No-Hair-Do society.

I write a little

note to myself

On my mirror

Saying "Put gel

On your hair

Before you go

To school

You dumb clutz."

Alex Richmond

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today