Poem 8 and 9 – A 7 year old Chelsea fan Muses on the universe and the use of images

I had the great pleasure of kicking a ball around in the park with a 7 year old friend of mine today;

Here’s the evidence, because we think he’s a bit too young to be online, but he wants to show you his football.

Now, I know he’s great at reciting poetry, but I’m intrigued to see what he thinks of the next two poems in ‘50 Poems’.

We begin with ‘The Universe Was Not at Home’; not by any stretch an easy poem to understand, but as soon as he’s heard it, he responds at once.

I love that!

I like the expressions and the tempo and I think that if you do that for people who are feeling sad, it will make them happy.

On the negative side.. I think you need to change the title.

Oh, really? Any suggestions?

Something a bit more mysterious.. like “Where is the Universe? Knock Knock Knock”.

Oh, interesting.

And I think that you need some props. So, when you go camping tomorrow, you can take a picture of the sky when there is no light disturbing the universe. And then that can be your backdrop.

And when the universe in the poem drops the pictures off, he can say – ‘Here are the constellations – take good care of them’.

I love that idea.

Well perhaps the universe is God.

In the poem, though, the universe goes visiting.

Ah yes

So in the part where I look up and there’s light on my face. Why is that?

I think that is God’s face looking right down at you. You’re looking into God’s camera.

Really? Well I didn’t fully understand that at first, when I wrote it. But it does actually remind me of something from the psalms.

I’ve heard of those.. you spell them P-S-A-L-M-S

Yes that’s true. And one of them says ‘In your Light we see light’

That’s like ‘In your Love we see love”.

Oh. Let me think about that. I think you’re right. That’s a very illuminating thought.

So how about this second poem, “Wondering what I’m talking about”. I’m afraid it doesn’t rhyme.


(he looks very disappointed)

But there are images for you to interpret and there’s a kind of music to the lines. You might call it a prose poem actually.

When he’s heard “Wondering what I’m talking about – or Why your own poems are worth listening to” he says

Are you going to write this all down like a conversation; like looking into the past?

Yes, though I hadn’t quite thought of it like that before.

I see. Well, I think this poem shows that there is a secret garden in everybody’s heart.

And why do you think there is a bird in the poem, leading us to the rusted lock… why not a rhinoceros or a giraffe?

Well, because a bird is better than a rhinoceros for that kind of thing because it isn’t harmful. And it flies.

That is an excellent response.
So, what do robins represent to you?


(his mum comes in)

I think he’s hungry.

A child can always be relied upon to change the conversation.

You can find the audio book “50 Poems for my 50th
– A Beginner’s Guide to Opening the World with Words – here

Thank you to my delightful young Chelsea fan. May we have many more poetic conversations on which you shed your special light.