The Pictures

Source: D.J. Enright, ‘The Pictures’, in The Terrible Shears: Scenes from a Twenties Childhood (London: Chatto & Windus, 1973), p. 52

Text:
Threepence on Saturday afternoons,
A bench along the side of the hall –
We looked like Egyptian paintings,
Bue less composed.

Sometimes a film that frightened us
And returned at nights.
Once Noah’s Ark, an early talkie
We took for non-fiction.

Cheapest was the home kino.
Lying in bed, you pressed on your eyes,
Strange happenings ensued.

But the story was hard to follow
And your eyeballs might fall in.
Fatigued, you fell asleep.

Comments: Dennis Joseph Enright (1920-2002) was a British poet, novelist, essayist and academic. The Terrible Shears is a collection of poems about his 1920s childhood, which was spent in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. Noah’s Ark was an American film, directed by Michael Curtiz, and an early talking picture.

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