POEM – Pennies on the Pendulum


I was fascinated to discover they ensure the most famous clock in the world keeps time by

piling old pennies on the pendulum… and decided to write a poem about it.

They put pennies on the pendulum
of the clock with Big Ben’s bell.
To ensure that all keeps steady
and the tock is ticking well.

It takes two men to tinker –
adding coins to the swinging pile.
Pennies fashioned for a time
when Victoria was in style.
The small chink of modern pence
are too cheap and mean and light
to keep the City working
every day and throughout the night.

Brokers and businessmen –
battling with suits and smiles –
Are all in thrall to ancient pennies
swinging in their piles.



2 responses »

  1. Thank you for taking the time to comment:)). I believe that minor alterations to the weight of the pendulum slow down or speed up the rate of the swing, which is connected to the cog mechanism controlling the hands on the clock. So two men have the job of checking it every day and adding or taking away pennies…

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