Sign In using your Campus Account

‘Pegged Down Square’

As you snuggle down your eyes
flutter towards the beauty of REM
touching your hair
I whisper maybe we should move
on from this cracked cold land
you dream murmur
I barely hear as whining winds whip
like bullets through sounding walls
quiet you say
I delve into thought of our glitzy
summer wedding so many years
without fruit
the structure will not cope with
many more winters nor inner cold
where would we
go to rid these caged emotions
and travel roads of communication
like hot wires
I long for the music of life like bees
round her majesty satisfying needs
honey to my spice
she keeps me pegged down square
tethered to our journey – I snuggle into her.



P A Livsey is a Mancunian. This poem was drafted at one of Peter and Anne Sansom’s workshops. She has found these workshops to be invaluable especially in meeting like-minded poets.


  • Keith Lander

    This is an interesting poem Polly. the speaker is holding an inner dialogue about the relationship with their partner who is asleep beside her. There are images of a cold land, and there are caged emotions shown in contrast to the joy of a wedding. There is a desire to move on in search of better times, better communication. I am not convinced the absence of punctuation works, and the short lines don’t seem to belong consistently to the couplets. These issues are easily to resolve though. Thank you for posting this Polly. I enjoyed reading it and look forward a revised version if you produce one.

  • Edmund Prestwich

    Thanks for sharing this, Polly. I do like the absence of punctuation because I feel it draws us into the hushed intimacy of the poem, almost making us feel we’re sharing the writing of it as we pick our way through it, realising the different syntactical possibilities for ourselves. I’d wonder about adjusting one or two line endings – eg moving the “on” of line 5 onto the previous line – and would query “whining” and “bullets”, but these are very personal matters of feeling for rhythm etc, and maybe I wouldn’t query them if I heard you reading it. Love the ending.

  • P A Livsey

    Thanks Keith for your valuable comments. I punctuated initially
    then experimented with the couplets and short lines (to add drama). Revision in progress..

  • Hilary Robinson

    I really enjoyed this, Polly. I loved the title and the image of the partner who is ‘pegged down square’. But I stumbled a few times not knowing when to pause and when to read on at the line breaks. ‘Her majesty’ keeps niggling me too…maybe ‘the queen’ then you’d echo ‘bees’ and ‘needs’? Overall though, a fine poem.

  • P A Livsey

    Hi Hilary thank you for you valued comments
    My aim was that the pauses came after the two longer lines.
    I am looking whether to add punctuation.
    Thanks once again

  • P A Livsey

    Edmund thank you for your most valuable comments. which are spot on as to why
    I haven’t punctuated.
    ‘on’ – on line 5 was for line length, but I see what you mean.
    I used whining for the alliteration and imagined that’s what a bullet
    might sound like, if it passed ones ear?
    I suppose I could replace it with ‘whistling’
    but this put me in mind of ‘Whistling down the wind’
    Really appreciated thanks.

Add your Reply

Image Credits:

Image: The 1950s-La Redoute catalog

Image credit: april-mo