I decided to begin this blog after being re-inspired by poetry in a university seminar in my third year of a teacher training course. During the session I began to be reminded that the reading of poetry should be for enjoyment first and foremost rather than the experience most of us had at G.C.S.E level. This idea of poetry for enjoyment is something I would like to both share with and encourage amongst my future pupils.

Friday, 5 November 2010

What Has Happened To Lulu? By Charles Causley

What Has Happened To Lulu?

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,
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?
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
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.

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

This is a poem I discovered for the first time today during a poetry session in a seminar at university. I initially read the poem and liked it, we then began to discuss the potential for its use in the primary classroom. One activity we tried out was to try and write the note that is mentioned in the poem. 
 Here's mine and my colleague's attempt:

"Dear Mother
        I've decided to leave now. Alfred says there are nurses needed in his regiment. Now no-one can keep us appart. I can't sit out this war, I need to play my part. I have too much loyalty to the man I love. Father would understand and I hope one day you will too. I hope father returns home safely. 
    Your daughter."

This was thrown together very quickly in about 5 minutes and is written in as if the poem is based in wartime, this historical twist is only our interpretation - we had many other ideas. Our classmates came up with a number of different ideas - could be interesting to see what children think. 
Other activity ideas included using drama - maybe some role play or hot seating. 
Or it may just be a poem you enjoy and share with the class before they leave at the end of the day.


  1. can you give me more info
    in detail what why she runs away

  2. Apologise for not replying sooner, I was not aware of your comment until now.
    One interpretation is that she has run away to become a nurse or another is that she has run away to marry a soilder before he is called up/back to the front line. These are just two of the possible interpretations.

  3. i think lulu has run away with her boyfriend who drives a loud car then had a argument with mum and left again but who knows i'm 10

  4. you're a daft teacher man. the girl runs away with her boyfriend obviously. use your brain.

  5. no no no guys you got it all wrong. read more into it. think about it more. Its about the mothers postnatal depression and lack of communication with the oldest child. She has done somthing to cause the child to run away. Lulu most likely hasnt run away with a boy because it suggests she is young, 'money box' and 'rag doll' and the fact that she left behind her shoe in a hurry shows she is escaping from somehting at home. the young child asking about Lulu could be the mothers imagination as the mother feels guilty abotu what she has done to make her chid leave.she burns the letter in anger.

    thank you and goodnight.


    1. omg your totally right. i see this poem in a completely different light. thank you B&d

    2. the light is green if your wondering....

  6. I think that the boyfriend theory may be true, she left the rag-doll as that would make her seem like a little child in front of this guy. But hey, the poem can be interpreted in many different ways!