Can you read me one of your poems?

This is a poem about having my photograph taken. Not only having my photograph taken but having a cameraman come from London to do it. Unfortunately he came in autumn, in November - not the best time for me because he wanted it to be out of doors on a fairly high local hill. And I knew before we started that my hair would not look its best.

Awkward Subject 'The light is wonderful!' he says. Not light For house agents, certainly. They avoid November shots, when wisped and bony trees Throw a disturbing shade on property. 'Stand there! Just a bit further. Don't look at the dog.' My casual adaptation to the place (One hand in pocket, right knee slightly bent) May not be what I mean, but is in danger Of immortality. I feel my teeth support me Against my inner lip; face him with all my skin. Sensing my misery, 'Would you rather smile?' He asks. And break the lens, I hope. Words are my element. Photograph them. from Collected Poems 1978-2003 (Peterloo Poets, 2005), copyright © U. A. Fanthorpe 2005, used by permission of the author and the publisher.


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