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Lay for the Day
20th September

1902: Stevie Smith, poet, is born in Hull.

Miss P.

for Stevie Smith

Gentle and staid
They thought the spinster,
The old maid
Who lived in the shade of the minster
But she had bronze in her soul
That when swung and struck
Like a bell would toll
And masses of pluck.
A lion in the way would find that Anglican old maid

Sad and single
They deemed the old biddy,
Miss Pringle.
He never came back from the war her boyfriend did he?
But her corsets like a brazier held a fire
That in matters of faith
Would kindle and aspire
So she was even as the Apostle saith
No tinkling cymbal
Miss Pringle.

John Gibbens
from Makings ’84-’88


The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar