It was a smart and pretty room,
all new, Welsh woollen honeycomb
across the narrow student's bed -
what I learnt there was never said.
The desk was shining, wide and empty
for me to pour out thoughts in plenty -
dull essays for my college marks
and poems from my secret heart.
I never took my poems to town
to the Creative Tutor's room -
poems that were awkward, but much sweeter
for lack of a Creative Tutor.
Instead I typed and sent my lines
to distant London magazines,
like a Lady of the Town
throwing her shining violets down
to sheer neglect and crowded shelf.
Now I'm an editor myself,
I wish that one had taken pity
on that lost girl in a lost city.
I remembered this last night
when sleep put out its soothing light,
and I roamed round maturer rooms
composing songs - and through the gloom
Poetry glimmered just the same
through all the changes since I came -
no fairer, costlier or worse
for shoals of schools for teaching verse.
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