Not My Own Work

But I surely wish it were.

I found this over on Litlove’s blog. The home of great literary criticism and wise comment on life and the foibles of humankind. Especially the foibles of those who have written books, essays and poetry.

Litlove is also a great source of new reading material and she has just posted a piece from a poet I had not previously read. Sophie Hannah, a Manchester University graduate wrote this short poem which is striking a chord within. The last two lines keep resonating.

Soft Companion


He sat in the under-heated flat, alone,

Usefully passing time (he thought by choice),

Not missing anything, until the phone,

Brought him the soft companion of your voice,


And then he looked around himself and saw,

The scraps of clothing on the floor, in shreds,

And felt his keys hang heavy in the door.

He thought of powdered milk and single beds.


Unsure of him, you said, ‘It’s only me,’

Meaning not quite enough, but you were right:

Yours was the only face he hoped to see

And only you remembered him tonight.


3 responses to “Not My Own Work

  1. It sounds so lonely …

    yes, but the last two lines promise the hope of a new beginning. It is a great piece of writing with some wonderful imagery. As another friend said, “She uses words as an artist uses paints.”


  2. sad

    Yes, but with the promise of a discovery. I like the interplay between unrecognised loneliness, sudden sharp longing and the recognition of need.


  3. I’m so glad you like this poem. Sophie Hannah is one of my favourites at the moment. It came from her collection entitled The Hero and the Girl Next Door, and they are all good. Not a duff one in the whole volume.

    Thank you for the name of her book – Now I can go look for it 🙂


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