Tuesday, 12 May 2009

A Tuesday poem.........

A Tuesday poem by my favourite modern British poet, Hugo Williams. As ever, Hugo manages to take the mundane, usually in the form of recollections and turn them into metaphor which reaches out and touches us individually.

This poem never fails to remind me of my dear father and the day I learned to ride a bicycle.

Now That I Hear Trains

Now that I hear trains
whistling out of Paddington on their way to Wales,
I like to think of him, as young as he was then,
running behind me along the sand,
holding my saddle steady
and launching me off on my own.

Now that I look unlike
the boy on the brand new bike
who wobbled away down the beach,
I hear him telling me: “Keep pedalling, keep pedalling.”
When I looked over my shoulder
he was nowhere to be seen.


  1. I love this..I picture it vividly as I read.

    At times, the words of the past ring in our being clearly, as if spoken just yesterday...at times so real, it almost seems we are hearing the voice. I can see how this would evoke sweet memories for you. It certainly does for me.

    Excellent choice of poem, Michael.

  2. Where to parents learn these lines? My father, half a world away, used the same words in an alley on a military base in Roswell, NM.

    The bike was too big and I was too small and there was many a skinned knee but he did not give up nor did I.

  3. Being the youngest of four, it was naturally the sister nearest to me, Sue, who helped me learn. I think she said "keep pedalling" just this way as well. It took some work on her part, but once I learned, she and I were off on many a bicycling adventure!
    I had never read this poem before!
    Thank you, Michael!

  4. This reminds me how much fun it is to ride a bike -- so liberating rolling along under your own power. I had planned to buy a bike this spring but never got around to it. I still have that desire.