Poem introduction

If All The World Were Paper is a poem close to my heart, it was my first poem to ever be published and I still remember running into what was then Borders Book shop on Charring Cross road and hunting through the shelves to find the anthology that my poem appeared in - The Works 6 edited by Pie Corbett. I thumbed to my page and my poem and allowed myself a small squeal as I saw my name in print. I have used this poem in many workshops to encourage new or young writers to write their own poetic worlds, worlds made of treasure, or colours or music and over the years I've come across some great examples and it’s a real pleasure to know that in some small way my little poem has inspired many other poems in many schools up and down the country, maybe it will inspire you to get writing.

If All The World Were Paper

If all the world were paper

I would fold up my gran

and take her everywhere I go.

I would laminate my baby sister in bubble wrap

and lay her to sleep in unbound fairy-tale book pages.

And should she get scared,

rip every fear,

shred every scream,

tear every tear.

 

If all the world were paper

I would re-bind my grandfather,

smooth out the dog-ears to all his stories,

place his younger days in a zoetrope

and flush the harrowing chapters

down an ink-gurgling well.

 

If all the world were paper,

kind deeds would be post-it notes

that stick to the doer in ever-growing trails,

so we would always remember,

friends would come with perforated lines

so you could keep their best bits with you

at all times.

 

If all the world were paper,

Christmas wrapping foil and birthday cards

would follow you to school.

 

If all the world were paper

dreams would be braille

so we could read them whilst we slept,

nightmares would be shopping lists

because shopping lists are so easy to forget.

 

If all the world were paper

arguments would rustle before they started

and could be put right with a little tape.

 

If all the world were paper

we could paperclip families together,

draw smiles on all the sad faces,

rub out the tears,

cover our homes in Tippex and start all over again.

 

All the world is not paper,

but whilst we can imagine it were

we can recycle the rough times

knowing we will never ever fold.


first published in The Works 6 edited by Pie Corbett (Macmillan, 2007), © Joseph Coelho 2007, from Werewolf Club Rules: Poems (Frances Lincoln, 2014), used by permission of the author and the publisher

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Recordings

Joseph Coelho Downloads

1Argument

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2Binley House

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3Byron Hates Water

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4Child of Opposites

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5City Kids

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6Conquer

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7Cross-Country School Run

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8Dada's Stories

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9Eastbourne

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10Grandfather's Seal

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11Halloween's Crumble

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12Hamster Hamster

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13Hide and Seek in the Woods

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14If all the world were paper

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15Introduction

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16Just the messenger

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17Kiss petals onto my eyes

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18Learn the basics of electronics with the Electronic Project Lab for Kids, 50 different circuits that you can build at home

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19Light Bringer - Prometheus 1 of 3

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20M O R E R A P S

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21Man, I Had it Made

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22Miss Flotsam

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23On Exam Results Day

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24Plant your heart in me

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25Prometheus Bound - 2 of 3

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26Prometheus unbound 3 of 3

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27Recipe For This Boy

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28Red Ruby Rings

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29Seagulls to confetti

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30Secret Eating

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31Smashing Snails in the Rain

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32Tables Red, Green and Blue

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33Teetering Towers

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34The Duelling Duo

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35The Guy

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36The Mermaid Queen

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37The Satyr's Head

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38The Story Builders

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39The Watchers

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41You Look Like a Rainbow

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