‘Meccano Magazine’ – a poem by Bernard O’Donoghue


    Meccano Magazine


Bridge May Riordan ordered it for me
From London. Being educational,
It was exempt from the 2d Purchase Tax,
Which was ironic because, in the reading
Of instructions, I was ineducable.
The sons of the Creamery Manager,
Who also had Set 5, completed models
So they always came out exactly like
The detailed illustration in the brochure:
The Bridge over the River Kwai; an Alpine
Funicular railway; a working crane,
And never had an unused piece left over,
Having put every item to its minute purpose.
I still find in drawers and boxes, under
The carpet or behind the skirting board
The occasional small screw, nut or clip
That should have contributed to some grander whole.


Bernard O'Donoghue

About Bernard O'Donoghue

Bernard O'Donoghue was born in Cullen, Co Cork in 1945. He is an Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College, where he taught Medieval English and Modern Irish Poetry. He has published seven collections of poetry, including 'Gunpowder', winner of the 1995 Whitbread Prize for Poetry, and two collections shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, 'Farmers Cross' (2011) and 'The Seasons of Cullen Church' (2016). He has published a verse translation of 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' (Penguin Classics 2006), and is currently translating Piers Plowman for Faber.