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A wishful thinking editor re-spelt

my name with a T and changed a poem’s

final words from ‘a tramp woman nurses

an infant/under a tumbling sky’ to

‘under a trembling sky’. Humbling to find

an editor’s chance(?) choice of epithet

happier than mine own! Mine was truer.

One winter night, I was changing trains at Crewe

and a red faced fellow traveller

sang, “…not her beauty alone. ‘Twas the truth

in her eye made me love the Rose of Tralee”.

His pale wife shivered by their cardboard case.

His breath condensed like the whitest of roses.




© Copyright David Selzer
3 Responses
  • Alex Cox
    February 15, 2011

    My wife was appalled that your poem was re-edited.
    And she is an editor!
    Keep up the good work

  • John Huddart
    February 15, 2011

    That is a great last line! May no editor change it.

  • David Selzer
    February 16, 2011

    Quite right! The editor concerned was Gillian Clarke, now National Poet for Wales (see: ‘Trembling’ is an unlikely typo for ‘tumbling’. However, I found it then and still do oddly touching. I have no idea why.

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