Hi. You're at my blog where we mess with poetry. It's about what I know - life at sea, family, work, the searching, people and the sometimes quirky side to existance. Also study of those who have influenced me - Australians - Slessor, Bruce Dawe, Robert Gray, Lehman, and others - Robert Service, John Masefield, Elizabeth Bishop, Auden, Kipling, William Carlos Williams, Bukowski. Hey, so welcome and just drift.
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Charles Causley - Timothy Winters
wanting to post this well known poem by Charles Causley for some time.It’s called, Timothy Winters.I love the
poem for a number of technical reasons – the rhyming, a four feet five feet
rhythm and a voice that I guess is Cornish (Charles Causley came from
Cornwall), so it makes you want to recite it in your best British accent.Then there’s the entertaining sense of humour
and the nice hook at the end, ‘come one
angel, come on ten: Timothy Winters, Lord.’
Causley was a schoolteacher, and this poem certainly stands testimony to the
belief that if I am to be a poet I should write about things I know or have
observed.Well, OK, about the things I
know, as well as what I have considered toward my observations, together with
what my emotional response is to them.I
think that’s how I’ve come to select Timothy
Winters for this post. I’m
thinking how society treats people wrong sometimes, especially from lack of
justice within our social systems.We
all have a built in sense of what is fair and of what makes something wrong –
sometimes we need reminding of it.Here
in our news in Sydney we have public outcry from the parents of an innocent
young boy who was walking with his girlfriend through the city when he was
‘king hit’ and killed by some thug who went on attacking other victims on the
same night.The thug received a prison
sentence of only four years on good behaviour.I know revenge is not a part of justice, but I feel for the parents – at
their faith and trust in the system and how they can’t help feel they’ve been
and duped by the system – the legal system, the political system, the welfare
system.Poor Timothy Winters, needing all the help in the world makes social
justice and the school’s prayers of petition look like a joke when he, “roars ‘Amen’!”
(Charles Causley – 1917 to 2003)
Timothy Winters comes to school
With eyes as wide as a football pool,
Ears like bombs and teeth like splinters:
A blitz of a boy is Timothy Winters.
His belly is white, his neck is dark,
And his hair is an exclamation mark.
His clothes are enough to scare a crow
And through his britches the blue winds blow.
When teacher talks he won’t hear a word
And shoots down dead the arithmetic-bird,
He licks the pattern off his plate
And he’s not even heard of the Welfare State.
Timothy Winters has bloody feet
And he lives in a house on Suez Street,
He sleeps in a sack on the kitchen floor
And they say there aren’t boys like him any more.
Old man Winters likes his beer
And his missus ran off with a bombardier,
Grandma sits in the grate with a gin
And Timothy’s dosed with an aspirin.
The Welfare Worker lies awake
But the law’s as tricky as a ten-foot snake,
So Timothy Winters drinks his cup
And slowly goes on growing up.
At morning prayers the Headmaster helves
For children less fortunate than ourselves,
And the loudest response in the room is when
Timothy Winters roars ‘Amen!’
So come one angel, come on ten:
Timothy Winters says ‘Amen’
Amen amen amen amen.
Timothy Winters, Lord.
reading, this poem may appear to be a swipe at Christian belief, a mockery of
religious process, a suggestion that the Lord is powerless and blind to
reality.But I don’t think that is what
the poem says.If it is a swipe, then it
is a swipe at one individual’s (the headmaster) and the system’s (school)
blindness to recognize that there is already one among them who is in immediate
need.Yes, Timothy Winters roaring ‘Amen’ is a joke but it is a joke on the
system that goes through a ritual of morning prayer yet never thinks that it
should bear true witness.
read much of Charles Causley.He was an
English poet, born in Cornwall.He served in the Royal Navy during WWII so he
must have been a decent sort of bloke and because of that I’m keen to read more
of his work.
I wrote my poem for this post some time ago.It comes from what I observed in the press,
my consideration toward that situation and my emotional response to it, which
was a sense of injustice and social misunderstanding.I don’t know, a lot of times I can’t help but
feel for the underdog no matter what shit he’s in or what he’s done.Don’t let the bastards win man!
2000:Listening to the news, I couldn’t help but
feel the anguish and hurt of a man in a hopeless situation.
What About the Man
snatched his son
him to a warehouse
had been living there
a custody battle.
to set fire
himself and the boy.
said there was a smell of fuel in the area.
had to surround the factory with a SWAT team,