Samuel Barley’s second contribution, The Box, invites the curious reader. Does The Box explore the nature of curiosity itself, such as the harm and satisfaction it can bring? My own feeling is that The Box cleverly tricks the reader into becoming curious about something that holds no significance outside of the poem and, therefore, underlines the nature of human curiosity and our need to discover and understand everything. This is a poem which raises a lot of questions.
There is a box on my desk.
It mocks me.
It laughs at my pain and revels in my sorrow.
It was not always mine. It once belonged to a friend.
I needed it once and he said, “Here have this.”
And that opportunity I did seize,
And he said that it was a gift, not just to borrow,
But it became useless until the next ‘morrow.
Yet for one day it held such glee.
There is a box on my desk. There’s one on yours too.