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The Reader Podcast: Episode Six Out Now

Written by Maisie Jeynes, 8th July 2021

Episode Six: Stories of Walking Away

In this episode, we ask 'What makes a poem great for Shared Reading?' Again, we take a closer look at a single poem, this time Cecil Day Lewis’ ‘Walking Away’, and hear stories about what this poem has meant to group members who have read it together in a Shared Reading setting. 

Walking Away 

By Cecil Day-Lewis 

 For Sean 

It is eighteen years ago, almost to the day –
A sunny day with the leaves just turning,
The touch-lines new-ruled – since I watched you play
Your first game of football, then, like a satellite
Wrenched from its orbit, go drifting away

Behind a scatter of boys. I can see
You walking away from me towards the school
With the pathos of a half-fledged thing set free
Into a wilderness, the gait of one
Who finds no path where the path should be.

The hesitant figure, eddying away
Like a winged seed loosened from its parent stem,
Has something I never quite grasp to convey
About nature’s give-and-take – the small, the scorching
Ordeals which fire one’s irresolute clay.

I have had worse partings, but none that so
Gnaws at my mind still. Perhaps it is roughly
Saying what God alone could perfectly show –
How selfhood begins with a walking away,
And love is proved in the letting go.

You can listen to The Reader Podcast on SpotifyApple PodcastsPodbean and here, on our website (or simply click the 'play' button below!)

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