Charles Causley made this recording of Timothy Winters for a programme called It Takes All Sorts, which was broadcast on 15th May 1967, produced by Tom Salmon. The Poetry Archive is best known as an audio collection, so it is particularly fascinating to hear these two recordings together, made thirty-five years apart, to gain additional insights into the poet’s voice over time.
Timothy Winters for BBC 100
Timothy Winters comes to school
With eyes as wide as a football pool,
Ears like bombs and teeth like splinters:
A blitz of a boy is Timothy Winters.
His belly is white, his neck is dark,
And his hair is an exclamation mark.
His clothes are enough to scare a crow
And through his britches the blue winds blow.
When teacher talks he won’t hear a word
And he shoots down dead the arithmetic-bird,
He licks the patterns off his plate
And he’s not even heard of the Welfare State.
Timothy Winters has bloody feet
And he lives in a house on Suez Street,
He sleeps in a sack on the kitchen floor
And they say there aren’t boys like him any more.
Old Man Winters likes his beer
And his missus ran off with a bombardier,
Grandma sits in the grate with a gin
And Timothy’s dosed with an aspirin.
The Welfare Worker lies awake
But the law’s as tricky as a ten-foot snake,
So Timothy Winters drinks his cup
And slowly goes on growing up.
At Morning Prayers the Master helves
For children less fortunate than ourselves,
And the loudest response in the room is when
Timothy Winters roars ‘Amen!’
So come one angel, come on ten:
Timothy Winters says ‘Amen
Amen amen amen amen.’
Timothy Winters, Lord.
Reproduced by kind permission of the BBC - Collected Poems 1951-2000 (Picador, 2000), © Charles Causley 2000, used by permission of the author’s estate. Poem featured in the Poetry Archive's BBC 100 Collection.