Poem introduction

A poem called 'A Blade of Grass'.

A blade of grass

You ask for a poem.
I offer you a blade of grass.
You say it is not good enough.
You ask for a poem.

I say this blade of grass will do.
It has dressed itself in frost,
It is more immediate
Than any image of my making.

You say it is not a poem.
It is a blade of grass and grass
Is not quite good enough.
I offer you a blade of grass.

You are indignant.
You say it is too easy to offer grass.
It is absurd.
Anyone can offer a blade of grass.

You ask for a poem.
And so I write you a tragedy about
How a blade of grass
Becomes more and more difficult to offer,

And about how as you grow older
A blade of grass
Becomes more difficult to accept.

from Love Poems (Flamingo (HarperCollins), 1990), copyright © Brian Patten 1990, used by permission of the author.


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1The Race to Get to Sleep

2Curtains for Gran

3Cousin Lesley's See-through Stomach

4Uncle Ben

5Mr Dahl Supping Soup


7The Lion and the Echo


9The Daft Owl

10Miss Shush

11Someone Stole the...

12Burying the Dog in the Garden

13Mr Ifonly

14A small dragon

15The Nightlight


17The Rose Tattoo

18Geography Lesson

19The Minister for Exams

20Sleep Now

21Little Johnny's Confession

22Come into the city Maud

23Interruption at the opera house

24The Projectionist's Nightmare

25Blake's Purest Daughter

26The right mask

27Into my mirror has walked

28Angel wings

29Sometimes it Happens

30A blade of grass

31The Stolen Orange

32Song for Last Year's Wife

33Simple lyric

34Her Coldness Explained

35meeting again

36The Ambush


38The Armada

39Inessential Things

40How Long is a Man's Life?


Books by Brian Patten