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Pippa Little: a poem



First Principles

 

(With thanks to Paul Batchelor whose iessence it was)

 

The essence of tomfoolery is all-you-can-eat.

The essence of dust is in the god of small practices.

The essence of hum is easy come, easy go.

The essence of Brave New World is... fitbit factories.

  

The essence of Diving into the Wreck is fuck.

The essence of Surfacing is give us a kiss.

The essence of intemperate is The Sun Also Rises.

The essence of karma's what fresh hell is this?

  

The essence of So Sad Today? Everyone's gone to the moon.

The essence of drowning? A man untroubled by rain.

The essence Of Mice and Men? Evil enters like a needle.

Essence of Where the Wild Things Are? For shame.

 

The essence of cleave is DOA with exit wounds.

The essence of bound is Ghosts No Horse Can Carry.

The essence of ravel is My Noiseless Entourage.

The essence of fast is the Agua Florida-scented emissary.

 

The essence of sanction is sleepers joining hands.

The essence of weather is cat got your tongue?

The essence of left is cooked thighs, raw heart.

The essence of clip is Father, thy will be done.

 

The essence of Knitting with Dog Hair is tickety boo.

The essence of Precious Bane is all passion spent.

The essence of Practical Boating is it’s not unusual.

The essence of staying alive: yabba dabba doo.

 

The essence of the twilit underpass is why so serious?

The essence of Kardashian is kiss my grits.

The essence of pink is pity the fool!

The essence of gibbet is if the squeak fits...

 

The essence of spoon is oh yes.

The essence of knife is Born to Run.

The essence of fork is you go first.

The essence of cup is Here Comes the Sun.

 

The essence of tabernacle is adios.

The essence of "instead" is stay with me a while.

The essence of cedars is praise the Lord.

The essence of bitter is one crooked mile.

 

The essence of scary is A Many Splendoured Thing.

The essence of canny is best-laid plans.

The essence of scissors is who knew?

The essence of seam is two sleepers joining hands.

 

The essence of the accused is undoubtedly exemplary.

The essence of the injured is shockingly incendiary.

The essence of observance is necessarily fragmentary.

The essence of judgement is usually pecuniary.



Pippa Little's third collection Time Begins to Hurt came out from Arc in 2022. Her work is widely published and has won awards and prizes. She was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Newcastle University and now teaches writing poetry at Faber Academy in the North.

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