My life in verse

A personal break through...

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This has been a self-imposed, very tough challenge. As an English teacher, I have had poetry as part of my life for years. I must admit that I like studying it – unpicking it like a puzzle to uncover meaning – but I rarely read it for pleasure. I much prefer a novel that grips me with character and plot.

I set this challenge with the hope of finding the one poem that summed up my life. I am a great believer in the saying ‘we read to know we are not alone’, so I wanted to find the poet who had captured me at this moment with an articulation that I can’t find. But I couldn’t! Life is so multi-faceted that no one poem can sum it up.

I am often drawn to the poems about motherhood as that is what I define myself as predominantly, yet I am much more. Life is more real for me than ever as I am not drifting anymore: I am actually engaged in it. I am finding joy in things and actively seeking out that joy. I am also owning up to being a home body, no longer needing or wanting lavish nights out as much to impress others as to find pleasure. I suppose I getting to like myself a lot more and realise that I am OK!

I looked for poems about finding yourself again or rebirth, but only found sentimental poems that didn’t seem real – just greeting card fodder. Then I remembered a poem from years ago. It is about things changing and you going with this, laughing and wondering at it. It is exciting and full of vitality.

This is where I sort of am too- embracing life, its ups and downs. Instead of resisting these feelings through distractions, I am trying to meet them head on, so that I can look back and think I actually lived through those days and wasn’t just a bystander.


This room is breaking out,
Of itself, cracking through
Its own walls
In search of space, light,
Empty air.

The bed is lifting out of
Its nightmares
From dark corners, chairs
Are rising up to crash through clouds.

This is the time and place
To be alive:
When the daily furniture of our lives
Stirs, when the improbable arrives.
Pots and pans bang together
In celebration, clang
Past the crowd of garlic, onions, spices,
Fly by the ceiling fan.
No one is looking for the door.
In all this excitement
I’m wondering where
I’ve left my feet, and why

My hands are outside, clapping.

Imtiaz Dharker


Mother, wife, daughter, teacher...

Firmly stuck in the 'sandwich generation' category, I am 46 years old and looking to shake things up a bit! I am a teacher, which I love - but it takes over your life! A mother of three - two daughters, 16 and 15, a son aged 11. Wife to Simon for 19 years. Carer for rather eccentric mum, aged 89.


Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
over 4 years ago
It's great that you've found a poem that you feel sums you up. I'm fascinated by all forms of the Arts that somebody you've never met, from a different culture or era can capture your heart or emotions and give you something that you can relate to and completely love. Yeah-yeah!
Go to the profile of Fiona Dolben
over 4 years ago
Good Post.. good poem ..,here's to being thoroughly engaged ! X
Go to the profile of Vanessa
over 4 years ago
What a powerful poem - it really draws you in! Absolutely love it!