Friday Poem – There’s no such thing as pandas


What if I told you that pandas weren’t real? That they were just people in suits? This Friday’s poem, There’s no such thing as pandas, taken from Katherine Stansfields collection Playing House, suggests just that. A concise wit, a distinct voice and an unsettling view of the domestic characterise these poems whose subjects are the ordinary as viewed through the author’s satirical yet sympathetic eye.

There’s no such thing as pandas

I cut my teeth on Newsround where ‘And finally’
meant pandas: pandas on planes, panda love
at London Zoo, the Queen unveils a new panda.
There was something about them, even then.
Those tricks-of-a-hypnotist eyes. The big pads
moving like hands. Were they shoes
inside the feet? I wasn’t sure until I saw
the sneezing baby make her mother
lurch in shock on YouTube. Then I knew:
pandas are just people in suits, having us on.

Don’t miss Katherine reading at the Aberystwyth Arts Center bookshop on Thursday 23rd October at 6:30pm. Find out more.

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