A Small Note

Just a lovely image, I wish I saw this from my flat window, over pots of tea and many poems.

…that it’s World Poetry Day.

I’m sharing this poem, by Norman MacCaig everywhere:


Stop looking like a purse. How could a purse
Squeeze under the rickety door and sit,
Full of satisfaction in a man’s house?

You clamber towards me on your four corners –
Right hand, left foot, left hand, right foot.

I love you for being a toad,
For crawling like a Japanese wrestler,
And for not being frightened

I put you in my purse hand not shutting it,
And set you down outside directly under
Every star.

A jewel in your head? Toad,
You’ve put one in mine,
A tiny radiance in a dark place.


I love the smallness of the poem, the way it seems to carry the poet’s voice, his fitting observations, without ever seeming laboured. The jewel-in-the-head refers to a legend that toads have, well, a jewel in their head.


What’s your favourite poem of the moment?



Filed under 2012

12 responses to “A Small Note

  1. What a paradise — and if this is in the dead of winter, what will Summer bring?

    The lighting is just gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

  2. CJ

    Look, I am living. On what? Neither childhood nor future are growing less….supernumerous existence wells up in my heart.

    My favorite Duino Elegy, The Ninth–Rainer Maria Rilke

  3. CJ

    The poet you introduced me to on Tumblr today, Jackie Kay, opened my heart a little wider. Thank you for that.

  4. Lovely words and image both!

  5. nmj

    I was given a collection of Norman MacCaig’s poetry in 2010 for Christmas. As I looked through it ‘Toad’ leapt out. I read it again and again. Wonderful.

  6. What a great little poem – just wandering around your blog and spotted this post – glad I did!

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