Brian Patten (7 February 1946 / Liverpool / England)
Minister for Exams
When I was a child I sat an exam.
This test was so simple
There was no way i could fail.
Q1. Describe the taste of the Moon.
It tastes like Creation I wrote,
it has the flavour of starlight.
Q2. What colour is Love?
Love is the colour of the water a man
lost in the desert finds, I wrote.
Q3. Why do snowflakes melt?
I wrote, they melt because they fall
on to the warm tongue of God.
There were other questions.
They were as simple.
I described the grief of Adam
when he was expelled from Eden.
I wrote down the exact weight of
an elephant's dream
Yet today, many years later,
For my living I sweep the streets
or clean out the toilets of the fat
Why? Because constantly I failed
Why? Well, let me set a test.
Q1. How large is a child's
Q2. How shallow is the soul of the
Minister for exams?
Poet Other Poems
- And Nothing Is Ever As You Want It To Be
- Doubt shall not make an end of you
- Geography Lesson
- Gust Becos I Cud Not Spel
- I have changed the numbers on my watch
- In Tintagel Graveyard
- Minister for Exams
- Mr Ifonly
- Nor the Sun its Selling Power
- One Another’s Light
- Party Piece
- Remembering snow
- Simple lyric
- Sometimes it happens
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