Red Boots and an exclamation mark!
John Mole - 30 January 2006
Here is a pair of poems by two of my favourite poets, Kit Wright and Charles Causley. Both have that combination of rhythm, rhyme and vivid description which makes me want to read them out loud, to hear and to feel how they go, so it's particularly interesting for me to experience the way that the poets read them themselves.
I love Kit Wright's 'Red Boots On' because it's a real high-kicker, full of colour and, above all, jazzy syncopation. As Kit says in his Archive introduction, those boots are a sort of 'filmic image of happiness' and the whole poem becomes its own soundtrack, dancing along with carefree abandon. Charles Causley's 'Timothy Winters' is full of energetic bounce and optimism in spite of his hard life. Look at that wonderful image - 'his hair is an exclamation mark'. It's almost as if Timothy has stepped out of the pages of a comic like 'The Dandy' or 'The Beano'. He's an explosive character, a 'blitz of a boy'. Society doesn't make things easy for him but every time I read his poem I hope he's going to make it! Do you have a favourite poem which celebrates a moment of happiness or which describes a colourful character? I'd like to know what it is. Perhaps you might like to write one yourself?