Poem introduction

Another ride in the time machine takes me back about ten years to my daughter's teenage years, as she stepped out of childhood.

Outgrown

It is both sad and a relief to fold so carefully
her outgrown clothes and line up the little worn shoes
of childhood, so prudent, scuffed and particular.
It is both happy and horrible to send them galloping
back tappity-tap along the misty chill path into the past.

It is both a freedom and a prison, to be outgrown
by her as she towers over me as thin as a sequin
in her doc martens and her pretty skirt,
because just as I work out how to be a mother
she stops being a child.


From Selected Poems (Oxford Poets/Carcanet, 1998), copyright © Penelope Shuttle 1998, used by permission of the author and publisher

Recordings

Penelope Shuttle

Penelope Shuttle Reading from her poems

1The Conceiving

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2The Weather House

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3Selena

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4Hide and Seek

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5Thief

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6Outgrown

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7Bird-Painter

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8Rescuing the Buddha

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9Far in the East

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10The Well at Mylor

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11St. Nectan's Fall

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12Mother and Daughter

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13The Breather Among the Metals

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14Waterstone Whispers

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15Under the Weather

16Scholar's Shop

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17Things You Can't Post

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18Six-Billionth Baby

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19Après un Rêve

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20God as Pupil

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21By the Water's Edge

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22Redgrove's Wife

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23Task

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24The Fields

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25The Inattentive Reader

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26Running Out of Time

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27The World

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28In the Kitchen

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29Account

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30Missing You

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Books by Penelope Shuttle