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Time Transfixed

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Poem Activity

Have fun with the poem by trying this...

This poem is about a painting called ‘Time Transfixed’ by René Magritte. You could start by searching online for an image of this painting. What do you see? Does it remind you of anything else you have seen, read or experienced?

Both the poem and the painting are deliberately a little strange. Have fun with the poem by reading it backwards - from the last word to the first word (today, yesterday, tomorrow, away chuff I….etc.). Then read the poem again from beginning to end.

Think about why making things strange can help us think of them differently and then have a go at performing it.

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by René Magritte

In the Thinking Room
at Childhood Hall,
the brown clock ticks
with the sound of the kiss
that my Grandma makes
against my cheek
again and again
when we first meet
after a week
of all the hours
that the brown clock’s tick
has kissed away
today, to-
morrow, yesterday

are all the same
to the plum steam-train
that I sometimes hear
in the Thinking Room
at Childhood Hall –
it has no passengers at all,
till I grow old enough
and tall
to climb aboard
the plum steam-train
and blow a kiss
as I chuff away to to-
morrow, yesterday, today.

Time Transfixed

by Carol Ann Duffy