Hold Your Own – Kate Tempest


Kate Tempest

“For my niece

I hold you in my arms,
your age is told in months.

There’s things I hope you’ll learn
Thins I’m sure that I learned once.

But there’s nothing I can teach you.
You’ll find all that you need.

No flower bends its head to offer
teaching to a seed.

The seed will grow and blossom
once the flower’s ground to dust.

But even so, if nothing else,
one thing I’ll entrust:

Doing what you please
is not the same

as doing what you must”.


Kae Tempest was born in London in 1985. Their work includes the plays Wasted, Glasshouse and Hopelessly Devoted; the poetry collections Everything Speaks in its Own Way and Hold Your Own; the albums Everybody Down, Balance and Let Them Eat Chaos; the long poems Brand New Ancients and Let Them Eat Chaos; and their debut novel, The Bricks that Built the Houses.

Kae was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize for their debut album, Everybody Down, and received the Ted Hughes Award and a Herald Angel Award for Brand New Ancients. Kae was also named a Next Generation poet in 2014.



Hold Your Own
Kae Tempest
Picador Poetry, 2014

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