Monday, August 13, 2012

Tea for my Father

Sunday afternoon, I heard this poem on the radio, performed live by the author himself, Michael Hofmann. 

I couldn't get it out of my head.

Although I had only heard it once I remembered most of the words, which had played over in my mind until I found it again on replay radio. (And now, of course, I get to hit replay as often as I like) 

So here it is, to share, if Mr. Hofmann will not mind...

Tea for My Father

I think of his characteristic way
of saying 'tea', with his teeth
bared and clenched in anticipation.
It is not his first language nor
his favourite drink, so there is
something exotic about both word and
thing. He asks for it several times
a day, in the morning and the afternoon
only. Mostly it is to help him work.
He likes it very strong, with cream,
in mugs, and sweetens it himself.
He puts it on the window-sill in front
of his table, and lets it grow cold.
Later on, I come and throw it out.

- Michael Hofmann (1979)

You can hear the very interesting interview with Michael Hofman here, or via this link:


  1. Brilliant! Gorgeous idiosyncracies.

  2. I loved to hear the poet's voice! beautiful poem and such an interesting interview. thank you for sharing it!

  3. Sarah & Stephania, thanks for reading / listening. He's quite a person this man, and I'm grateful to have turned on the radio just in time to hear this poem! I figured I was meant to hear it. :)


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