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harlequin gateau

by Souchong 

Posted: 29 July 2005
Word Count: 102

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harlequin gateau

i will walk through my childhood by myself
i will not be led
i will answer no clumsy questions about
what it was like and if i was happy
instead i will reach into my bag
and pull out
a cake
harlequin gateau from Littlewoods
palepink caramel icing, sugar sweet against my tongue
as good as the picture on the box
cake on a plate
saturday teatime
i would love to tell you
how it felt
crumbling in my mouth
but please donít try to tell me
what it meant.
i know what it meant
it meant we had cake.

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Comments by other Members

Beanie Baby at 09:06 on 23 August 2005  Report this post
Hi Souchong.
I like the crafty simplicity of this poem. I say crafty because at first glance, it is, itself, like the icing on the cake - the outer layer of it. But to me it goes right into the core of that cake and beyond. It sounds like so many of my own self-recriminations. Like getting frustrated about things, getting impatient, demanding 'why haven't I got this now, when I most need (or deserve) it!' and then thinking 'Oh well at least I have my health, my home, my family' or - in this case 'it meant we had cake'. Maybe I have misinterpreted it and read too much into it, but it really touched a nerve with me and I think it has been brilliantly executed!!

Souchong at 09:01 on 27 August 2005  Report this post
thank u beanie. i like poems to mean what they mean to the reader, even if it is not part of the original picture seen by the writer. i like the meaning you find in this.
part of the meaning of this poem is about taking back control of interpreting your own life experience. being choosy about who you allow to examine it.

thank you again for your comments

marjie_01 at 14:05 on 01 September 2005  Report this post
Hi Souchoung,
I liked this piece too. I don't normally comment on poetry because I think it can be overly flowery and half the time I don't get it! But this wasn't fussy or pretentious and I think that worked well with the subject matter - about not trying to attach meaning to things that weren't that deep and meaningful. It seemed to me to be about the kind of therapy you get in the west - how every little thing from your childhood can be analysed and then loaded full of meaning. And it takes away the simplicity and innocence of it. Your last line said it all, 'It meant we had cake'. Great piece.

Souchong at 10:35 on 06 September 2005  Report this post
thanks marjie.

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