The Cold Tap Sings

the p-word

Tag: Barbara Hepworth


I glanced in the window of an old-fashioned barber’s on Chatsworth Road, London, the other week and this poem came to me instantly.


The Barber

I couldn’t be a sculptor
so I became a barber.
But don’t get me wrong –
I cut with a kind of artistry.
You should see me shape
the crisp curve of a quiff,
as a Moore square jaw.
If Hepworth did fringes
she couldn’t match my contours;
believe me, the shadows fall
on my short back and sides
with a Renaissance splendour.
Why, come in sir, have a seat,
what can I do you for?
My scissors are my chisel.


Read more poems about sculpture here. You might notice that I’ve stolen a line from an old poem for the one above. Rather than laziness, I’ll call that a motif.



Not in an art gallery,
where you’d expect,
or in, for example,
a sculpture garden;
but strapped to a lorry
on the M25, southbound,
in the non-place,
the between-space,
in transit. We overtake,
and as we pass by I see
she placed a circular hole
at the centre of the shape
across which I sense
some sort of lattice,
strung like a harp,
cradling the sky’s blueness.