Teignmouth (Causley)

Charles Causley

Charles Causley

I was about to post another Charles Causley poem when “Straight Outta’ Teignmouth” came along; then I met up with NME and the idea of the “Elegy to a Parratt” was born.  So back now to Charles Causley.

I have chosen his poem “Teignmouth” to continue the theme of general impressions about the town.  However, this one is slightly different because Causley is not writing about the Teignmouth he knew but the Teignmouth of his parents.

This touching poem about his parents’ early romance in Teignmouth has a slightly ominous twist at the end when we realise that their “date” on the seafront is right on the eve of the outbreak of World War I.


(Charles Causley)

Teignmouth, ox-red sand and scree
The pier`s long finger testing the sea

Salt-damp deck-chairs along the Den
Pierrots singing, Here we are again!

Sand-artist crimping the crocodile
Quartz for a yellow eye, shells for a smile

Punch kills the Baby the Mission sings a hymn
Through the level water the sailboats swim

My father, slick from his boots to his cap
Driving the Doctor`s pony and trap

Here`s my mother, lives next door
Strolling with a sun-shade the long blue shore

The sun and the day burn gold, burn green
August Bank Holiday, 1914

The tide runs grey; washes the world
Away, away

Want to know more?  Check out:  Charles Causley


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