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last update:

20th Apr 11

Michael Swan photo
e-mail Michael

and in the shop…
collections –
“The Shapes of Things”
Oversteps Books;

“When They Come for You”
Frogmore Press




Not Quite

The poem is never quite
what you wanted to say.
Even the great one,
the ultimate masterpiece –
ten lines only, but
all other writers
throw down their pens in despair;
in a matter of weeks
the whole world
has it by heart;
it is quoted at meetings and partings,
at weddings and funerals;
so profound is its message
that wars are stopped in their tracks;
an authority
wise and benign
is set up in Andorra la Vella
to govern the planet;
on the walls of the parliament building
in letters of gold
your text is inscribed –
even so,
it’s not quite
what you wanted to say.

Michael Swan

in collection, The Shapes of Things, 2011, Oversteps Books,
ISBN 978-1-906856-19-9