Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace, Wednesday’s child is full of woe, Thursday’s child has far to go, Friday’s child is loving and giving, Saturday’s child works hard for a living, but the child that is born on the Sabbath day is bonny and blithe and good and gay.


I’m not sure it works like that, but we all know the old rhyme.

I was filling the washing machine the other day, when I suddenly remembered an incident from my childhood. I was put up on stage to do a comic poem in the local dialect. I really didn’t think I’d be able to track it down, but I managed to find it on Sheffieldforum.co.uk, where somebody had posted it from Sheffieldish – a beginner’s phrase book. I couldn’t track an author down, though, and there are a few different versions. Here’s the one I remember. Imagine me in a mob cap, waving a wooden spoon (I loved it. I was such a show-off!).

Ee a wud like to gith thee a neece cup a tea

If only thad cum ont reight day

But tha munt cum on Monday

Its me weshin’ day, an am weshin’ an weshin’ me clooers away.

Ee a wud like to gith thee neece cuppa tea

If only thad cum ont reight day

But tha munt cum on Tuesday,

Its me ionin’ day an am ionin, and ionin’ me clooers away.

Ee a wud like to gith thee a neece cup a tea

If only thad cum ont reight day

But tha munt cum on Wednesday

Its me shoppin’ day an am shoppin’ and shoppin’ me muni away.

Ee a wud like to gith thee a neece cup a tea

If only thad cum ont reight day

But tha munt cum on Thuesday its me baikin’ day an am baikin’ an baikin’ me shoppin’ away.

Ee a wud like to gith thee a neece cup a tea

If only thad cum ont reight day

But tha munt cum on Fridi

Its me cleanin’ day an am cleanin’ and cleanin’ me owse away.

Ee a wud like to gith thee a neece cup a tea

If only thad cum ont reight day

But tha munt cum on Satdi

Its me visitin’ day an am visitin’ and visitin’ me frends away.

Ee a wud like to gith thee a neece cup a tea

If only thad cum ont reight day

But tha munt cum on Sundi

Its me churchin’ day an am churchin’ and churchin’ me sins away

Ee a wud like to gith thee a neece cuppa tea

If only thad cum ont reight day.

You might need to read it out loud. It’s proper Yorkshire. Let me know if you need a translation. The other fact that might interest you is that Yorkshire folk are renowned for being fiscally prudent. Or mean, if you’re from Lancashire.

You’ve probably realised what this prompt is about. Back in the old days, there were certain jobs for each day of the week, and even certain foods – my mother-in-law had seven children and (very wisely) cycled through the same menu every week – Thursday was chops, Friday was fish…

I don’t think anybody washes strictly on a Monday any more (though I could be wrong), but I certainly find the days of the week have their own characters. In our house, Monday is get up and get out, Tuesday is too much sport, Wednesday is a sigh in the middle of the week, Thursday is music, Friday is freedom, Saturday is shopping, Sunday is Sunday dinner.

I want you to choose a day, and think about the features of that day. What’s your typical Monday? What does Friday mean to you? Is your day of rest a Saturday, or a Sunday, or a Tuesday? Then write me a poem about the way that day feels to you.

Here are some more subtle examples than my comic poem:

Richard Allen Taylor
is grossly underrated, glad to be here, eager to get going.
Unlike Monday, it doesn’t care that the weekend is overor that it was not designated a national holiday.
Tuesday is morning news and handy tool, the good dog

that comes when you call, the horse saddled
and ready to ride. It’s different from Wednesday,

which wants to be Friday, or Thursday, already dreaming
about the weekend. It’s the second pot of coffee,

fresher than the first, the ball already rolling. It’s not at all
like Friday, watching the clock, making dinner reservations.

You seldom find Tuesday hanging out in bars, unless it’s on a business trip
and has nothing better to do. If it stays out late, it knows

Wednesday will complain. Tuesday is a go-getter,
the kind of day everyone wants on their team. It almost never

gets invited to weddings or parties (except Mardi Gras) but more
than its share of funerals and insurance seminars. Tuesday works

more but has less time off than almost any other day. Even when
it goes on vacation, it has to tag along with Saturday

and Sunday and the rest of the family, who have already planned
the trip and scheduled the activities, usually without asking

Tuesday’s opinion. Tuesday is bells ringing, whistles blowing,
the fire engine leaving the station, not the most popular

day of the week, but the kind you might pick
as a business partner, the day most likely to succeed.

From Something to Read on the Plane (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2004).
This poem first appeared in The Powhatan Review (Fall 2003).


You can find the original on yourdailypoem.com. And here’s

Mondayby Billy Collins

The birds are in their trees,
the toast is in the toaster,
and the poets are at their windows.

They are at their windows
in every section of the tangerine of earth-
the Chinese poets looking up at the moon,
the American poets gazing out
at the pink and blue ribbons of sunrise.

The clerks are at their desks,
the miners are down in their mines,
and the poets are looking out their windows
maybe with a cigarette, a cup of tea,
and maybe a flannel shirt or bathrobe is involved.

The proofreaders are playing the ping-pong
game of proofreading,
glancing back and forth from page to page,
the chefs are dicing celery and potatoes,
and the poets are at their windows
because it is their job for which
they are paid nothing every Friday afternoon.

Which window it hardly seems to matter
though many have a favorite,
for there is always something to see-
a bird grasping a thin branch,
the headlight of a taxi rounding a corner,
those two boys in wool caps angling across the street.

The fishermen bob in their boats,
the linemen climb their round poles,
the barbers wait by their mirrors and chairs,
and the poets continue to stare
at the cracked birdbath or a limb knocked down by the wind.

By now, it should go without saying
that what the oven is to the baker
and the berry-stained blouse to the dry cleaner,
so the window is to the poet.

Just think – 
before the invention of the window,
the poets would have had to put on a jacket
and a winter hat to go outside
or remain indoors with only a wall to stare at.

And when I say a wall,
I do not mean a wall with striped wallpaper
and a sketch of a cow in a frame.

I mean a cold wall of fieldstones,
the wall of the medieval sonnet,
the original woman’s heart of stone,
the stone caught in the throat of her poet-lover.

Once you’ve written your poem, link it up to our old friend Mr Linky. Please add a link to this post in your poem, too – it will increase our traffic and yours. And then do the rounds, read some poems, make some comments. The bar is open, and Mr Linky will be open for the next couple of days. Happy poeming!