Illumination

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hans christian andersen

Green velvet smoking jacket
svelte and warm and treasured
since Cambridge
the pool of light that quickened
the grain in his oak desk was
as much a portal for him
into other worlds as was the
oak door through which he entered
his library at every
opportunity

Sometimes the desk supported
the console of a racing carriage and
at others the cockpit of
a spaceship from the pen of
Leonardo da Vinci and
at others still the pool of light
upon the desk resembled that upon
the spectacles of a tiny Rumpelstiltskin
or the chestnut hair of Lydia
the one and only he’d ever
truly adored

And his pen added a carrot-nose
to a snowman fashioned
by his father and the slowing
pace of his seventy-five year
old legs was rejuvenated as
his pen pointed brighter than
candle flame into the
archives of an always fertile mind

His eyes could appear as blank
black discs in a handsome patrician visage
when observed at the desk from
eventide street window but
only because there they gazed
inward, remembering, rejoicing
resurrecting realities borne of
fairy tales of wingéd truth

Simon Marsh

Homework for 11 May

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Hans Christian Andersen by Anne Grahame Johnstone – see art.co.uk for info’

At our meeting on the 6th April, tutor Angela Locke invited us to enjoy her copy of this framed painting. The work features Hans Christian Andersen and some of his stories can be identified ‘around the edges.’

Writers were asked to ‘keep in the mind’s eye’ an image from the painting and – there and then – allow a piece of writing to flow from that. Great pieces ensued and were shared aloud around the table.

Homework for presentation on the 11th May involves something similar. Jot down some stories ‘around the edges’ of your young life, and distil one or some of these into 100 words.

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