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CHRISSIE GITTINS

 

 

 

Chrissie GittinsCHRISSIE GITTINS was born in Lancashire and lives in Forest Hill, London. Her first poetry collection is Armature (Arc, 2003) and her second is I’ll Dress One Night As You (Salt, 2009). In 2013 Paekakariki Press published her third pamphlet collection Professor Heger’s Daughter in traditional letterpress with 7 original wood engravings. She has written three poetry collections for children which have been named Choices for the Children’s Poetry Bookshelf; Now You See Me, Now You … (Rabbit Hole, 2002) and I Don’t Want an Avocado for an Uncle (Rabbit Hole, 2006) were also shortlisted for the CLPE Poetry Award. Her third children’s collection is The Humpback’s Wail (Rabbit Hole, 2010). In 2014 Bloomsbury published her new and collected children’s poems Stars in Jars. Chrissie has made an hour’s recording of her children’s poems for the Poetry Archive.

 

 


 

 

Pathétique

 

 

 

 

The piano stood upright in the front room

framed by the rubber plant

as it made a run for the ceiling.

Practice weighed in between homework, table tennis,

wandering the lanes to get a view on the smoking town.

 

Lessons were a grind.

A small white bust of Beethoven

glowered from Mr Hamer’s piano.

 

My father, proud to have a daughter at the grammar school,

sang in the Rossendale Male Voice Choir –

‘Glorious mud’, ‘Mad dogs and Englishmen’,

‘There is nothing like a dame’.

He played the tape as we drove.

 

I played his 78s in secret, thought Humoreske

played on a Liberal Jewish Synagogue Organ,

was pronounced Humorsquē.

 

One Friday, late in November, he came home

with sheet music from the city –

Beethoven’s Sonata No 8, the Pathétique.

I sat down at the piano, opened

the thin folded paper.

 

The Key of E Flat Major? – B flat, E flat, A flat.

Too hard for me.

Then, I only knew the key of C.

 

I placed it in the stool, beneath the studded leather lid.

Adagio, Daddy, Adagio.

                         

 

©2015 Chrissie Gittins

 

 

Author Links

 

Chrissie Gittins homepage

Chrissie Gittins at PoetryArchive.org

'Out of Place': poem by Chrissie Gittins at Poetry Shed

 

 

 

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