Writings and Witterings

The Paper Maker


The Paper Maker with acknowledgement to www.theglasgowstory.com

The Paper Maker with
acknowledgement to http://www.theglasgowstory.com

Left, right,
quick march,
reams of paper,
white and starched.
Order restored,
all in place,
a gross for Mr Johnson
at the Poetry Place.

My name’s Charley,
Charley Waite,
‘course, they call me
Paper Waite
the bloody kids
who want a job,
all through the summer.

They should be me,
left school at fifteen,
did me no harm, as you can see.
Conscription stopped
in nineteen sixty:
the worst thing
for our kids.

Little shits,
graffiti-ing the mill.
I’ll give ‘em ‘summer job,’
they’ll get bugger all.
They’ll scrub
and clean
‘til those bricks
are pristine,

Left, right,
quick march,
reams of paper,
white and starched.
Order restored,
all in place,
a gross for Miss Chard
at the Post Office.

Polly Stretton © 2014


18 thoughts on “The Paper Maker

  1. I enjoyed this one even more reading for the second time Polly. Sometimes I think in blog land its too easy to read things too quickly in order to leave a meaningful comment. For me this gives a good sense of the factory setting and rhythm of machines. And your paper maker is very lifelike too. too. I like the illustration. X


  2. How good of you to say so, Christine. The poem formed part of my post about Arvon and I felt it had got a bit lost in the melange of information in that blog, hence I reposted. I agree with you that sometimes it’s too easy to read things quickly in blogland and just move on to the next.

    This poem came out of an activity set by our tutors, specifically Patience Agbabi for this one – I was pleased with the result and am happy that you see / feel the rhythm and link it to the factory setting. The character himself was something we were encouraged to spend time thinking about, we did a character CV so that we knew the character well. Patience explained that we would not use all of the information but that our poems would be richer because we knew them so well. It seems this is true from your encouraging comments:)


  3. He is a strong character but I think he is kind deep down 😊


  4. I love the sentence “I’ll give ’em summer job”. It reminded me of part of a Billy Connolly show where he was talking about true things his parents had said. He asked when he was young for some money to go to the pictures and his dad said “Pictures?!! I’ll pictures you!” Ive never forgotten it! It would go well somewhere in a poem possibly 😊


  5. A strong sense of voice here and personality, Polly, which you manage to maintain even with the rhymes and rhythms, keeping a vivid naturalness and sharp poem, thanks. k.


  6. I enjoyed this quite a bit. A nice write to go along with the character. Nice rhyming / unrhyming rhythm to it.



  7. Wonderful rhythm throughout Polly! I read it to the beat of the footfalls of marching soldiers. Charley Waite, his paper and his job offers offer possibility. It is obvious how well you know him. Yet I must wonder if there is the tiniest bit of twinkle in his eyes? 😉


  8. I love your character poetry.


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