The Boffin

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The Boffin


bookshops are like lovers 

they numb in black & white

then seduce you with colour


titillate and tempt your soul

until you finally let go

find the courage to close


the book ~ pages which leave

you gasping ~ the breath of air

on your face feels like a slap



Frances Macaulay Forde © 2004


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Frances Macaulay Forde

Mon 15th May 2017 14:04

Thank you so much David and Rachel, your comments and reactions always gratefully received. 😊

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Sun 14th May 2017 02:58

Oh, it is a loving affair, this engagement! And, never to be intruded upon by the voices of self-important consumers who can't seem to stop enjoying the sound of themselves...

(This comment borne of recent encounters in bookstores with annoyingly loud conversing patrons).


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Wolfgar Miere

Sat 13th May 2017 16:53

Hi Frances,

I really like the idea, the way you have used the breath of air on the face as a slap, to suggest the impact of something learned or read, as it should be.

I have on occasion been so engrossed in books which have not concluded as I would like, or suggested something with which I vehemently disagree, that I have tossed them angrily against walls or floors, I suppose that is like slapping the author.

Lovely poem.


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Frances Macaulay Forde

Sat 13th May 2017 13:45

Thanks so much Cynthia - I am humbled by your lovely compliments. You are correct in your original interpretation.
You obviously love books (held in the hand) as much as I do.
(Actually I wrote this poem in a specialist bookshop called 'The Boffin' which caters to boffins - or people who are specialists in their fields looking for technical as opposed to fictional books. Although they stock both.
It was also a finalist in the "Inner City Life" Competition run by Hunter Writers Centre in NSW. 😊 )

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sat 13th May 2017 12:52

Couldn't agree with you more. IMO, a superb little poem. And a great title.

I understood 'boffin' from ages back as an 'intensely dedicated and knowledgeable enthusiast along any particular interest' or something like. As my parents seemed to use the word. So I looked the word up a moment ago - 'slang connected with the Air Force for scientists employed by the Services!' Live and learn!

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