0012 The House Of Metaphor Poem by Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd

Marton, Lancashire

0012 The House Of Metaphor

Rating: 2.5

After you’ve negotiated that artfully-conceived
sharp elbow bend in the long, grand drive
through the fields of its estate,
and it hoves into view,
you always gasp – this palace
- no, more like a temple with living quarters –
set deep in the countryside, yet as sure
as one in Athens or in Rome;
yet that too is artfully contrived -
the slight mound it’s built on,
the cunning proportion that magnifies,
disguises, with its public face
the aptness of a family home;
its public rooms so grand, just echoing enough
to magnify a public speech; its family rooms
smallish, cosy; love and friendliness
live here. It says to the world,
stability; tradition re-affirmed; yet
this is our familiar family home.

It has its rooms, as rooms should be,
devoted to each family pursuit:
here’s the grand library
but here, with books so evidently, lovingly well read;
you almost missed the little girl, her hair and knees
curled round a book, deep in that leather green armchair;
the study, where your breathing seems to change,
there’s such a still and living silence here;
the nursery that emanates a lifetime’s care;
the children’s bedrooms set around it,
through which you ran and laughed and ran again; the window seats
from which you looked so wistfully
as childhood’s assurance faded into teenage questioning;
a house to leave,
a house to come back to;

a metaphor
as living, haunting, as the poetry it is.


People can squabble over what poetry is until they give themselves a stroke, OR, they can write brilliant poetry such as this poem where, for me, the argument has ended. Standing ovation, Michael.

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Nalini Hebbar 29 June 2006

do you know what felt reading this...like i am back after a long holiday...just want to flop into my sweet sweet bed and stare for long outside the window...thanks...michael...nalini

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Scarlett Treat 29 June 2006

Thank you for the armchair tour of a grand Manor...and for the glimpse of the little blond haired girl, curled up, reading in the chair...warm and lovely. I truly enjoyed this quick look...

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Patient Spirit 29 June 2006

Wow, glad I caught this one Michael. An excellent piece crafted with skill, as the reader dances lightly from word to word. Well written.

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Michael Shepherd

Marton, Lancashire
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