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Poem of the Month:
Feb 17

Comp 2017: now open

May Festival
now booking
19th/20th May

Holland House
now reserve places only

poetry latest Issue, 17

new Remote Workshop Perceptions of Time

poetry Guidelines

poetry Issue 14 & 15 extracts now online

Competition prior year Results


*** NOW BOOKING Spring Festival (& Holland House, reserve places only remaining) ***

*** 2017 POETRY COMPETITION for Long & Short Poems by women – Now Open… ***

*** Nov 16: New Remote Workshop now available… Perceptions of Time, by Myra Schneider
(Fanfare & Her Wings of Glass, both series still available) ***

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Poem of the Month

Round 10, Month 6: Our judge this month is Joy Howard. Her winning poem choice is Metempsychosis in the Olšany Cemetery by Mary Robinson. The four commended poems are by Pru Bankes Price, Jill Munro, Angela Platt and Margaret Wilmot.

Metempsychosis in the Olšany Cemetery

What would Plato think of this?
– dry crumbs in a home-made bird-feeder
knocked up from wire and scraps of kindling …
Perhaps he would smile an aftershock of recognition
when something that was a careless might be
becomes is.
Jays are gate-keeping in the trees,
chaffinches and sparrows bathe on the dusty path
and somewhere Jan Palach’s soul takes wing
as light as a burning feather
“Metempsychosis” – the transmigration of souls, an idea alluded to by Plato (after Pythagoras).
The Olšany Cemetery in Prague is the last resting place of the remains of Jan Palach, the student who set fire to himself in Wenceslas Square in January 1969 after the Soviet Union’s occupation of Czechoslovakia the previous year. His memory became a focus for Czech nationalism and anti-Communist protests.

Mary Robinson

this poem first published in Envoi 160, Oct 2011

Judge’s comment:
At once terse and memorable, Robinson’s poem is a gem. With telling economy of space and phrasing, she plots a route and leads the reader down paths of complex thought. The beautiful imagery of birds is used in juxtaposing a metaphysical notion and all too brutal reality, and is wholly successful in that. A poem to engage with, and one which merits close and repeated readings.

Joy Howard

Odda’s Chapel, by Pru Bankes Price
Man from La Paz, by Jill Munro
Eye Examination, by Angela Platt
Clay-Lady, by Margaret Wilmot