Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Norman MacCaig: "Small boy"

He picked up a pebble
and threw it into the sea.

And another, and another.
He couldn't stop.

He wasn't trying to fill the sea.
He wasn't trying to empty the beach.

He was just throwing away,
nothing else but.

Like a kitten playing
he was practicing for the future

when there'll be so many things
he'll want to throw away

if only his fingers will unclench
and let them go.

"Small boy" by Norman MacCaig, from The Poems of Norman MacCaig. © Birlinn, 2009.

Art credit: "Fun at the beach on a glorious day," photograph by WILLSIE (originally color).



  1. MacCaig has a great "formal" poem called "By Achmelvich Bridge" where he describes a waterfall jumping through "smithereens of light"! That image always struck me.


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