Department of English

Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University


 

What Has Happened to Lulu?

 

Charles Causley

(August 24, 1917 November 4, 2003)

 

What has happened to Lulu, mother?

What has happened to Lu?
There's nothing in her bed but an old rag-doll
And by its side a shoe.
 
Why is her window wide, mother, 5
The curtain flapping free,
And only a circle on the dusty shelf
Where her money-box used to be?
 
Why do you turn your head, mother,
And why do tear drops fall? 10
And why do you crumple that note on the fire
And say it is nothing at all?
 
I woke to voices late last night,
I heard an engine roar.
Why do you tell me the things I heard 15
Were a dream and nothing more?
 
I heard somebody cry, mother,
In anger or in pain,
But now I ask you why, mother,
You say it was a gust of rain. 20
 
Why do you wander about as though
You don't know what to do?
What has happened to Lulu, mother?
What has happened to Lu?

 

 

Charles Causley

 

 

Study Guide

Think about the poem as a narrative.  What story or scenario is played out or recounted here?

 

Think about the poem in terms of point of view.  How does the limited perspective of a child affect the impact of the poem?  Why does youth make a difference?  The voice is that of a child, the questions are about Lulu, what about the mother?  Why is she in the poem?

 

Play detective: Make inferences from the clues given in the poem.  What is gone?  What is left?  What is said?  What is unsaid? 

 


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Last updated October 3, 2009