Tony Jolley

Rookie (17th June 1958 / England)

Poetry Before Birth (With Apologies To Mr Macneice...) - Poem by Tony Jolley

I am not yet born; O hear me
Let not the daily distractions
Or the inane chatter of fools or the wise unto themselves
Cheat me of my birth and breath.

I am not yet born; console me
For I fear that life’s long lists
Will with doing divert me,
With bureaucracy pervert me
To timetables tie me
Upon lonely shelves lie me.

I am not yet born; provide me
With quiet to quicken me,
Paper to page me,
Pen to procure me,
Memories to muse me
And a song I can see in my soul and hear in my hand.

I am not yet born; forgive me
The call irrevocable I must make,
The ache endured for my stanzas’ sake
That itch where you can’t scratch me
The frustration of failing to find me
My meanings when mistaken by many
Or not known to any.

I am not yet born; rehearse me
To be poetry-prete-a-porter for the world of today
Where precious few mind me or make to unwind me
Some they despise me, revile and revise me
Publishers move to marginalise me
Where wise and fool alike lack the time for me.

I am not yet born; O hear me
Let not the moribund mind
Or the soul sans compassion come close to me.

I am not yet born, O fill me
With light against those who would quash and quench
Would consign me to a rest home of irrelevance
Would make me a mere mark on a school syllabus,
An unlearned lesson, a bore
And against all those who would choose not to see
And deliberately, casually, carelessly
Or with apathy underscore me.

Let them not make me unheard or unread
Let them not deplore me…
Otherwise ignore me.

Listen to this poem:

Comments about Poetry Before Birth (With Apologies To Mr Macneice...) by Tony Jolley

  • (8/31/2005 1:27:00 AM)

    i see what you mean..great minds think alike huh? ..or fools seldom differ?
    great poem
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]