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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.


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


Penelope Shuttle

Penelope Shuttle Reading from her poems

1The Conceiving

2The Weather House


4Hide and Seek




8Rescuing the Buddha

9Far in the East

10The Well at Mylor

11St. Nectan's Fall

12Mother and Daughter

13The Breather Among the Metals

14Waterstone Whispers

15Under the Weather

16Scholar's Shop

17Things You Can't Post

18Six-Billionth Baby

19Après un Rêve

20God as Pupil

21By the Water's Edge

22Redgrove's Wife


24The Fields

25The Inattentive Reader

26Running Out of Time

27The World

28In the Kitchen


30Missing You

Books by Penelope Shuttle