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Haworth Hodgkinson

Haworth Hodgkinson

Poetry 2007–2017

Poetry 2001–2006

Poetry 1996–2000

Poetry 1982–1995

© Haworth Hodgkinson 2006–2017

Bosnian Lullaby

after the Sephardic Ballads Durme, durme, mi angelico
and Durme, durme her, ozo hijico

Haworth Hodgkinson


Sleep, my angel, child of your nation,
Close your bright eyes and dream.
In your world there is nothing of grief:
Your days are full of delight.

One day, my angel, when you go to school,
You will learn the great truths of your nation:
Why you were born in a city of strangers
And whom you should trust or despise.

But tell me, my angel, who has never known pain,
And who once sang with such limitless joy:
Why do your eyes now darken with sorrow
And why has your voice fallen silent?

I'll tell you, mother, why I am sad
And why I can sing no more.
While you were away this afternoon
A boy came and broke my wings.

And that boy who broke my wings was a stranger:
He spoke like they speak across town.
I have already learned prejudice, mother,
And my voice has passed away.


Written 2000

Published in Pushing Out the Boat Issue 2, 2002
(Aberdeenshire Council)
and in There's a Bairn in My Broth, 2008
(Koo Press)

There's a Bairn in My Broth Pushing Out the Boat 2

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