Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘Talking at Breakfast’ – a poem by William Wootten


The below poem is taken from William Wootten’s new pamphlet, Looking at the Horsemen, published by New Walk Editions on 4th May. On the same day, it will be launched online in a co-launch with Lisa Kelly. For more information and to register to attend, click here

Reading Walter de la Mare, William’s annotated selection of de la Mare’s poems, will be published by Faber & Faber on 17th June.



    Talking at Breakfast


We have woken in a former century
To poised rooms and the sense that we are guests here
Where the sizzlings of bacon and large mugs of tea

Are filling up the kitchen with an air
Tasting of homeliness. Our hosts have brought
The paper from the mat, and we can stare

At long familiar headlines, being caught
In history where nothing we can do
Can change what happens next, and while we ought

To tell them what we know will soon come true,
It is as yet too early in the day
For making conversation, so we chew

On through our breakfast, marvelling at the way
They can behave as if there were no more
The matter with their lives than there is in grey

Box brownie photographs time will store
Up in the loft. Sun flashes from the roofslates
And a new-washed day is stretching out before
Us to enjoy when we have cleared the plates.