Tuesday Poem: “A Surprise Parcel”

by Adrian Mitchell

Hairy green string
Blobs of purple sealing-wax
Six postage stamps bearing silver holograms
Of the Snow Queen on an icy throne
Muddy brown wrapping paper
Round a soggy heavy oblong cardboard box
When you sway it from side to side
You hear a swishing-swashing sound -
Somebody has sent you a river.

Adrian Mitchell was a lovely man as well as a terrific poet, and I was reminded of both these truths last night at a Poets in the City event, when all three British Poet Laureates spoke (as Carol Ann Duffy said: “You wait 400 years for a woman Poet Laureate and then three come along at once”). It was Liz Lochhead, the Scottish Makar, who referenced Adrian Mitchell’s work, and that set me wondering what he’d have to say, in poetry, about current political events. But the example I’ve chosen doesn’t reflects his abiding political passions but rather, his sense of humour. This absurd, engaging playfulness was central to his character, I believe.

And while we’re talking poetry, why don’t you look at what the other Tuesday Poets are offering: if one of the posts on the sidebar mentions a Tuesday Poem you can be sure there’s a poem in there somewhere.

4 Responses to “Tuesday Poem: “A Surprise Parcel””

  1. mary mccallum Says:

    delicious – made me laugh

  2. admin Says:

    And the image of a river sloshing around inside a parcel stays with me. I’d love someone to send me a river!

  3. Helen Lowe Says:

    Intriguing! And yes, fun.

  4. admin Says:

    I especially like the swishing-swashing bit.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.