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'A Cambridge Lamentation' centres on my brief stay at a teacher training college contained within the University of Cambridge, with its campus at Hills Road just outside the city centre. A fusion of previously published pieces, it was primarily adapted, some years ago now, from an unfinished and unsent letter, penned just before Christmas 1986, but never sent.

A Cambridge Lamentation

Def._2015_36_by Carl Halling19 Apr 2016

This place is always a little lonely
At the weekends...no noise and life;
I like solitude,
But not in places
Where's there's recently been
A lot of people.
Reclusiveness protects you
From nostalgia,
And you can be as nostalgic
In relation to what happened
Half an hour ago,
As half a century ago, in fact more so.

I went to the Xmas party.
I danced,
And generally lived it up.
I went to bed sad though.
Discos exacerbate
My sense of solitude.
My capacity for social warmth,
Excessive social dependence,
And romantic zeal,
Can be practically deranging;
It's no wonder I feel the need
To escape...

Escape from my own
Drastic social emotivity,
And devastating capacity
For loneliness.
I feel trapped here;
There's no
Outlet for my talents.

In such a state as this,
I could fall in love with anyone.
The night before last
I went to the ball,
Couples filing out,
I wanted to be half of every one,
But I didn't want to lose ***.
I'll get over how I feel now,
And very soon.
Gradually I'll freeze again,
Even assuming an extra layer of snow.
I have to get out of here.