Daily Poem

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The Independent Online
James Fenton, a former Vietnam war reporter and correspondent for the Independent in South East Asia, was awarded the Whitbread Poetry Award for his collection Out of Danger (Penguin, £7.99). He was one of the winners of the five cateogories in th e shortlist for the 1994 Whitbread Book of the Year, which was awarded this week to William Trevor for Felicia's Journey (Viking), winner of the Whitbread Novel Award.

I'll Explain By James Fenton

It's something you say at your peril.

It's something you shouldn't contain.

It's a truth for the dark and a pillow.

Turn out the light and I'll explain.

It's the obvious truth of the morning Bitten back as the sun turns to rain, To the rain, to the dark, to the pillow.

Turn out the light and I'll explain.

It's what I was hoping to tell you.

It's what I was hoping you'd guess.

It's what I was hoping you wouldn't guess Or you wouldn't mind.

It's a kind Of hopelessness.

It's the hope that you hope at your peril.

It's the hope that you fear to attain.

It's the obvious truth of the evening.

Turn out the light and I'll explain.

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