Some say poetry is a solitary activity – certainly it’s not like rugby or soccer or being in a band. Poetry begins in the poet’s head – ideas, words, colours, sounds, pictures tumbling together until there’s the urge to put them on paper, or more likely these days, on the screen. Creation, the stringing of words together, is the private, individual part of a poem. But there’s a time to share – poetry is ultimately about sharing, online, on the page or to an audience, even an audience of one!
My grandmother, who had the time to listen, was my first and probably my most appreciative audience. I remember sitting in the sun with her on the window ledge of her spare bedroom, in the background the thwack of tennis balls from public courts across the road. Gran put her hands in her lap, settled down and listened, watching me through thick spectacles as I read. A pause, I looked up at her face, assessing her reaction. ‘Lovely poem,’ she whispered. It was all the accolade I needed. Poets love to be appreciated!
Many years later I wrote this poem in my grandmother’s honour. It is published on the title page of ‘Words with Wings’, one of my teachers’ books from Belair.
The sun newly-minted
in the summer sky, the
mesmeric sound of roller
on clay, gentle pthud
thud of racquet on ball,
grandmother mouthing my words
under her breath.
My words! I watched
her eyes, magnified to
medallions, move slowly
across the page. ‘Lovely
poem,’ she said smiling.
We sat in the sun, well-pleased
one with the other.
The Poetry Space competition gives poets the opportunity to share – and competitors will find an appreciative audience in the judges, both for prize-winners and those who don’t quite make it this time round. And the prize-winners, of course, will have the delight of seeing their own poems online and in print.
Moira Andrew, October 2011
Today is the official launch date for Poetry Space Competition 2012
We prefer online entries: simply pay by Paypal and send in your poems by email to firstname.lastname@example.org