Tag Archives: David Punter

David Punter – Poem for my Grand-daughter

POEM FOR MY GRAND-DAUGHTER

And so I wonder as I watch you
…….playing with onions
…………..passing them from one wicker bowl
to another, intent and concentrated
…….flinging stripped outer skins
…………..onto the floor in perfect confidence

that they will be picked up by somebody else;
…….or silently mouthing the words
…………..of new songs and rhymes
gradually shaping their meaning
…….(yesterday I turned on the car CD player
…………..expecting ‘Julie’s Been Working for the Drug Squad’,

a Clash classic, and getting a surprise blast of
…….‘Old Macdonald has a Farm’
…………..or finding strange joy in stamping
on the flagged kitchen floor, resonating
…….with the limits of your small body
…………..and extending it ceaselessly outwards

achieving increasing mastery of your world;
…….or your wary appreciation of that other world,
…………..a world of two cats, sometimes sleeping
sometimes getting dangerously close – and so
…….what do I wonder? I have forgotten
…………..what I wonder, I am lost instead

inside your adventure-hungry view,
…….your this and that, your sharp discrimination,
…………..your ceaseless lessons of the self –
what I had really forgotten is that the key is not
…….this endless capacity for learning,
…………..it is the desire, the avidity

always to know more than you did, on any
…….Thursday afternoon, more than you did
…………..that vivid half-forgotten week before.


“Poem for my Grand-Daughter” by David Punter was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2021) judged by Paul McDonald.


David Punter

David Punter is a poet and academic. He has published eight poetry collections: China and Glass, Lost in the Supermarket, Asleep at the Wheel, Foreign Ministry, Selected Short Stories, Bristol: 21 Poems, Those Other Fields and Stranger. He has had poems published in a wide variety of magazines in the UK and abroad, including PN Review, Encounter, Thames Poetry and The Puckerbrush Review. He has taught literature in England, Scotland, China and Hong Kong; his most recent post was as Professor of Poetry at the University of Bristol.