Thursday, October 7, 2010

National Poetry Day, Philip Gross poem "Room Inside"

From the website for National Poetry Day, a classic Philip Gross poem:

Room Inside

Philip Gross

There’s a room in my house where nobody goes
except me:

a still room, a light room,
a where-I-go-to-write room,
an any-day, any-time, a middle-of-the-night room,
a feeling-low-and-slow or a high-as-a-kite room.
Feel free!

There’s a room in my house where nobody goes.
There are cupboards and corners that nobody knows
inside me.

There’s a room in my house where nobody has been
from Friedmanlynn on
except me:
a just-behind-your-face room,
an orbiting-in-space room,
an earthquake-shaking-with-the-thumping-of-the-bass room,
a somewhere-to-escape-to-outside-the-human-race room,
a just-close-your-eyes-and-you’ll-vanish-without-trace room

There’s a room in my house where nobody has been.
There’s a view from my window nobody has seen
inside me.

There are secret compartments that nobody’s guessed
except me:
a shadow room, a cool room,
a chalky-smelling school room,
a kidney-shaped Hollywood parties-by-the-pool room,
an old-French-blokes-in-berets-playing-boule room,
a rusty-dusty buckets full of grandfather’s tools room,
a locked trunk that might be full of jewels room

There are secret compartments that nobody’s guessed.
There’s another direction than north/south/east/west
inside me.

There’s a room that is private, that no one can own.
Come and see.
A music room, a dance room,
a things-found-quite-by-chance room,
a jungle room, a tigers-in-amongst-the-potted-plants room,
a hiding-from-a-hundred-jolly-uncles-and-strange-aunts room,
no family…

An X marks the spot room,
a don’t ask why, why-not room,
a sauna-in-the-winter-and-a-freezer-when-it’s-hot room,
a sail-to-the-horizon-in-a-little-tin-pot-yacht room
with its own sea.

A cellar room, an attic room,
a semi-automatic room,
a can’t-sit-still-cos-I’m-too-emphatic sort of amateur-dramatics room –
oh, tragedy!

There’s a room that is private, that no one can own.
You can build one yourself out of breath, flesh and bone.
There’s a padlock that opens to nobody’s key.
Just knock,
and wait,
and knock,
and wait,
and when a voice says ‘Who’s there?’
say, ‘Just me’.

From the UK Poetry Day website
Click on tab at top for recent Poetry reviews to get leads on some newer poem collections in several styles of poetry.  Especially noteworthy is Pablo Neruda and Manolis.


  1. Now THAT is a poem!

    and there is a difference

  2. everybody needs a room like that, real or metaphorical. :-) what a great poem.

  3. Yes, I think so too Marie, it's a knowing yourself room.

  4. Glad you liked it...everytime I read it I catch something new. A 'semi-automatic' room.
    It's even better read aloud!

  5. hmm i had to do a revision of this. i did " a closet full of skeletons" this is pretty good actually