Guest poem sent in by Nandini K. Moorthy
(Poem #1310) I am Very Bothered
I am very bothered when I think of the bad things I have done in my life. Not least that time in the chemistry lab when I held a pair of scissors by the blades and played the handles in the naked lilac flame of the Bunsen burner; then called your name, and handed them over. O the unrivalled stench of branded skin as you slipped your thumb and middle finger in, then couldn't shake off the two burning rings. Marked, the doctor said, for eternity. Don't believe me, please, if I say that was just my butterfingered way, at thirteen, of asking you if you would marry me.
I stumbled upon this poem by chance and it sure proved delightful reading (Not to mention the gush of sweet nostalgia that comes associated with school days). The innocence of the 13 year old rips through the poem masking the damage caused by his foolish teenage prank. Neither the title nor the first two lines of the opening stanza least prepare the reader for the anecdote the poet delivers. What I thought was amazing about the poem, was poets ability to squeeze the anecdote in fourteen lines (typical of love sonnets), with explicit explanation of the incident, uncompromising on the humor and at the end, the shameful acceptance of the act. I assume the poets reference to the "burning rings" and "marked for eternity" is part of marriage proposal that he discloses. The tinge of shame is also evident in the last stanza Simon Armitage is a British poet and this poem is from his collection "Book of Matches" based on his school memories. [Martin adds] owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That did nasty things to my imagination. *shudder*