Monday, August 17, 2009

Poetry Wednesday - By Fleur Adcock a Kiwi poet

For Heidi With Blue Hair

Poet Fleur Adcock was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on 10 February 1934, but spent much of her childhood, including the war years, in England. Check out some of her other poems. You will find them amusing and insightful.

When you dyed your hair blue
(or, at least ultramarine
for the clipped sides, with a crest
of jet-black spikes on top)
you were sent home from school

because, as the headmistress put it,
although dyed hair was not
specifically forbidden, yours
was, apart from anything else,
not done in the school colours.

Tears in the kitchen, telephone-calls
to school from your freedom-loving father:
'She's not a punk in her behaviour;
it's just a style.' (You wiped your eyes,
also not in a school colour.)

'She discussed it with me first -
we checked the rules.' 'And anyway, Dad,
it cost twenty-five dollars.
Tel them it won't wash out -
not even if I wanted to try.

It would have been unfair to mention
your mother's death, but that
shimmered behind the arguments.
The school had nothing else against you;
the teachers twittered and gave in.

Next day your black friend had hers done
in grey, white and flaxen yellow -
the school colours precisely:
an act of solidarity, a witty
tease. The battle was already won.

5 comments:

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

Oh, I like this poem. My little sister got kicked out of 5th grade for dying her hair. The kicker was she didn't. It always went blond during the summer. Then as fall progressed darker roots came in.

Mom was in tears when I was home for Thanksgiving from college. I raced to the store and got some dye to get rid of the roots and my little sister got back in school. Thanks to Clairol. LOL

This poem brought that memory back and I was again able to laugh about it. So stupid the rules can be.

Bee's Blog said...

I like it, I like it, I like it!

Nicholas V. said...

What a wonderful poem! I had never heard of this poet before, Kwika. Thanks for the introduction to her work.

bekkieann said...

Oh boy, the rebel in me loves this poem!

heatherbelle said...

Loved it...made me laugh..especially "apart from anything else,not done in the school colours".