steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Hard at work, really...

... revising a lecture on Tom's Midnight Garden for the first week of term. Somewhat sadly, since Philippa Pearce died with the year, on December 21st. However, I have at last managed to track down a copy of a poem I've long associated with that book, though I'd only read it once and could remember nothing but the author's name - Google be praised!

Judith Wright, 'Counting in Sevens'

Seven ones are seven.
I can't remember that year
Or what presents I was given.

Seven twos are fourteen.
That year I found my mind,
Swore not to be what I had been.

Seven threes are twenty-one.
I was sailing my own sea,
First in love, the knots undone.

Seven fours are twenty-eight;
Three false starts had come and gone;
My true love came, and not too late.

Seven fives are thirty-five.
In her cot my daughter lay,
Real, miraculous, alive.

Seven sixes are forty-two.
I packed her sandwiches for school,
I loved my love and time came true.

Seven sevens are forty-nine.
Fruit loaded down my apple tree,
Near fifty years of life were mine.

Seven eights are fifty-six.
My lips still cold from a last kiss,
My fire was ash and charcoal-sticks.

Seven nines are sixty-three; seven tens are seventy.
Who would that old woman be?
She will remember being me,
But what she is I cannot see.

Yet with every added seven.
Some strange present I was given.
Tags: books
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