Lost and Found – Poetry is What?

On the Beach at Cambridge

Isn’t it funny, but when you’re trying to empty a house or a flat it’s always the last few things that take the longest to sort out.

I was looking for a poem in my last post. It turned up, squeezed between the photograph albums. It is by Adrian Mitchell. Click here to read more about him.

Mum had written it onto a scrap of paper, but copied the title incorrectly. So the poem she copied is called, ‘Poetry is What?’

Poetry is What?

Poetry is a beautiful mud-pie

Washed down with a glassful of stars.

Poetry is one of the best ways

Of singing to the whole wide world

Or whispering in the ear of your best friend.

Poetry tunnels you out of your dungeon.

Poetry captures the three-headed dragon.

And teaches it Ludo and Frisbee-throwing.

Poetry is a Mammoth in a shopping mall,

A beggar with no legs in Disneyland,

A chocolate bicycle,

A truthburger with French flies

And the Moon’s own telephone.

Poetry is your mind dancing

To the drumbeat of your heart.

Once I had the first line, I found the poem on the Internet. But then I found another poem by Adrian Mitchell which is actually called, ‘What is Poetry?’

I love this poem as well, so here it is.

What is Poetry?

Look at those naked words dancing together!

Everyone’s very embarrassed.

Only one thing to do about it –

Off with your clothes

And join in the dance.

Naked words and people dancing together.

There’s going to be trouble.

Here come the Poetry Police!

Keep dancing.

© The estate of Adrian Mitchell. From ‘On the Beach at Cambridge.’  Publisher Allison and Busby. London 1984.

I’m going to have to search out more of his work.



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