The Shell (A Skin Too Few), a poem for Nick Drake written by his mother Gabrielle to attempt to better understand her son’s sadness. Living grows round us like a skinto shut away the outer desolationFor if we clearly mark the furthest deepwe should be dead long years before the grave.But turning around within the homely shellof worry discontent and narrow joywe grow and flourish and rarely see theoutside dark that would confound our eyessome break the shell…I think that there are those who push theirfingers through the brittle walls andmake a hole…and through this cruelslit stare out across the cinders of theworld with naked eyes they look both out and end,knowing themselves and too much else beside.

The Shell (A Skin Too Few), a poem for Nick Drake written by his mother Gabrielle to attempt to better understand her son’s sadness. 

Living grows round us like a skin
to shut away the outer desolation
For if we clearly mark the furthest deep
we should be dead long years before the grave.
But turning around within the homely shell
of worry discontent and narrow joy
we grow and flourish and rarely see the
outside dark that would confound our eyes
some break the shell…
I think that there are those who push their
fingers through the brittle walls and
make a hole…and through this cruel
slit stare out across the cinders of the
world with naked eyes they look both out and end,
knowing themselves and too much else beside.

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