Resources on poetry by the poets themselves

His Nine Sympathies

Preview of ‘New and Collected Poems for Children’ to be published by Faber in Autumn 2009

His Nine Sympathies

were for the mothers,
listening to flute scales stop and start;

and for the fathers,
whistling their tired ways home in the dark;

for younger brothers,
sent with the jingling cows to market;

or for eldest daughters,
hymned up the aisles till death did them part;

for orphans,
led by a piper out of a pretty park;

and for paupers,
scraping their fiddles for small change in a hat;

for old ones,
tapping their sticks on the twisting path;

for soldiers,
stamping their boots on a victory march;

and for the lovers,
the broken chords of their hearts.