Kingsley Amis

(1922-1995 / England)

Wasted - Poem by Kingsley Amis

That cold winter evening
The fire would not draw,
And the whole family hung
Over the dismal grate
Where rain-soaked logs
Bubbled, hissed and steamed.
Then, when the others had gone
Up to their chilly beds,
And I was ready to go,
The wood began to flame
In clear rose and violet,
Heating the small hearth.

Why should that memory cling
Now the children are all grown up,
And the house - a different house -
Is warm at any season?


Comments about Wasted by Kingsley Amis

  • (4/21/2016 11:14:00 PM)


    A pleasing stroll down the memory lane. Thanks for sharing.10 points. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Anil Kumar Panda (4/21/2016 10:29:00 PM)


    Change of time. Only memory remains. Very nice. (Report) Reply

  • Amar Agarwala (4/21/2016 10:27:00 PM)


    Soothing and meaningful! (Report) Reply

  • Moira Cameron (4/21/2016 10:07:00 PM)


    This poem echoed with me. The story was movingly told. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (4/21/2016 8:47:00 PM)


    It is a good thing that a poem makes the reader wonder over its words and discuss them with their friends. This one resonates with me and that is why it is written- -to resonate with its readers for personal reasons as well as its author's. For me, the house they grew up in changed when it no longer rang with their child voices- whether it was an altogether different home or the same home that they grew up in doesn't change that hollow feeling. {I think he moved to Florida or Hawaii where it is warm all the time. :) ] (Report) Reply

  • Kenneth Maswabi (4/21/2016 9:23:00 AM)


    The memory clings to remind you of the treasures in your life. Thank you. (Report) Reply

  • (4/21/2016 8:04:00 AM)


    Beautiful poem. When children are grown up and gone memories of that time is precious. (Report) Reply

  • Barry Middleton (4/21/2016 7:50:00 AM)


    I believe the poet knows why he remembers this fire but he wants the reader to figure out how it relates to children growing up and leaving home. (Report) Reply

  • Soul Watcher (4/21/2016 3:43:00 AM)


    The title of the poem attracted me to read this poem and I am happy that I got here and read this poem, thank you for sharing (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (4/21/2016 2:04:00 AM)


    Up to their chilly beds! ! With the muse of nature. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Kim Barney (4/21/2016 1:22:00 AM)


    Very nice poem (much better than the 5.5 rating given by the 11 voters so far) , telling a good story, but I don't see why he gave it that title. (Report) Reply

    Stephen W (4/21/2016 5:00:00 PM)

    A rare excellent comment by Barry Middleton: -)

    Denis Mair Denis Mair (4/21/2016 9:43:00 AM)

    Perhaps the trauma of feeling cold in childhood left him with this recurrent memory. His body craved warmth so much that he remembers the cheerful beauty of those rising flames. However, he cannot share such a memory with his children. They would not understand because they have grown up in a comfortably warm house. Even he realizes that this recurrent memory does not apply to his current situation, so in a sense such a memory is wasted

    Barry Middleton Barry Middleton (4/21/2016 7:48:00 AM)

    I don't understand why people rate famous poets to low in general. As for the title, perhaps he is saying the fire, which eventually catches, was wasted because the children were gone to sleep. Now, in the present, the children are grown and gone, the house is always warm but because they are gone that fire is also wasted in some respect?

Read all 14 comments »




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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010



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