My first poem aged 16 – Lacking Love
While previous editions of my weekly trips down memory lane into the Student archives have focused upon issues like the Vietnam War, this week’s blog focuses on another issue every 16-year-old (and 65-year-old!) has on their mind…
I wrote this poem when I was a teenager, with my first girlfriend, a beautiful young Dutch girl, in mind. You can surmise what it is about from the title alone: Lacking Love. It is amusing to look back and see that I thought I was getting old as I entered my seventeenth year!
Here it is in full (and printed below in case the faded paper is too difficult to read) – I hope you enjoy.
I am getting old now
and this but my seventeenth year,
holding in a wrinkled, thoughtful head
memories of an age.
out of step with time
as my pen scratches paper
and the clamy grip of censure settles on my hand.
Through all my friends growing quickly younger as I
this coming and passing of year upon year
You recall, before our parting, little Dutch girl
we exchanged our love and rode along streams together
on the backs of mountains, and our separate fates
black as smoke waiting above us?
how changed, so changed our days – not my fair thoughts
of you remain the figurehead of life.
By Richard Branson, aged 16, to his first girlfriend.