I – the slow child who could not spell: autism and poetry.

Photo on 24-07-2016 at 12.59 #2

I’m about to plunge into an intense work phase to bring my project to a conclusion. Which is a bit of a jolt, having taken the scenic route for a brief and heady period, to explore the exciting practice of writing poetry as a discipline rather than a purely creative splurge. I’m learning the importance of returning to the words and sharing first drafts with others.

Poetry it seems happens in one’s own mind, on paper and in conversation. How fun is that!

This is a poem which has been hanging out to dry for about ten days. A bit like my first clothes wash at college which shrank in the tumble dryer! The dryer in this case being  exposure to critical eyes and new thought. It is now a tighter fit and beginning to take shape.

It is about my relationship to reading (as an autistic, dyslexic) and the fascination I have with a certain kind of vintage children’s literature.


That book is rubbish.
Don’t buy it, she says.

I frown inwardly
while smiling

a tightrope

But you are calling







I, plunged into
papery fragments
all sensation

on a landing
or crumpled pillow

pages crisp
between my fingers.

I, held in the author’s

the slow child

who could not

© Sonia Boué 2016


Published by soniaboue

I am an artist.

12 thoughts on “I – the slow child who could not spell: autism and poetry.

      1. Yes! I love the beginning, then the tension throughout, and then it feels like it opens up into a wide space – like walking down a narrow path, stepping through a gate, into a wide field. That was my sensory experience 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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