Posted in Book Stuff

Allan Ahlberg Collected Poems

I was browsing a (physical) bookstore and found this collection illustrated by Charlotte Voake.

This is the poem that made me buy it (p 112):

by Allan Ahlberg

The first world
Was made of paper.
God screwed it up in a ball.
It would not do at all.

The second world
Was made of ice-cream,
Fudge flavour mostly,
In a delicate (8,000-mile diameter) wafer cup.
God ate it up.

The third world
Was made of modelling clay.
God baked it in the oven
And gave it to his grandma.

The nineth world
Was made of house bricks,
Artfully arranged.
God won second prize
In a competition with it.

The twelfth world
Was made – woven, actually –
Of magic carpet material.
It commuted between here and there.
There were two billion
Uncomplicated if somewhat wind-blown
People on it.

The thirteenth world
Was perfect.
God put it down somewhere
And has been looking for it
Ever since.

The twenty-fifth world
Was made of a miraculous new substance
With mind-boggling properties.
It had an unfortunate smell, though,
Like rarely opened wardrobes.

The thirtieth world
Was made of dirt and water
Day and night
Odd socks
Incomplete jigsaw puzzles
Happiness and boredom
Wedding rings
General elections
Telephone books
And me and you.

God said that it would do.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

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