Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Poem of the Week 64: 'The Malarkey'

Our 64th Poem of the Week is Helen Dunmore's 'The Malarkey', which recently won the National Poetry Competition. A haunting and mysterious poem, it may prompt more questions than it answers.

From The Guardian:
Picking through the 10,467 anonymous entries for this year's National Poetry Competition, judges and poets Ruth Padel, Daljit Nagra and Neil Rollinson were sure of their winner, "The Malarkey", which Padel described as "completely arresting in its quietness [and] hidden strength". When they discovered it was by Orange prize-winning novelist and poet Helen Dunmore, "we all threw our hats in the air", said Padel.

Listen to an interesting interview with Dunmore by Mark Lawson on 'Front Row' (starts just after 24 minutes), including a reading by the poet. Lawson talks about the 'ambiguous, dark' nature of the poem. Dunmore says the poem is about being 'haunted by loss' and how quickly you can lose something that really matters. 'All children vanish into adulthood', she says, 'and maybe you long to capture that time.'

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Any one who would like enter the National Poetry Competition 2010 can do so by going to

Good Luck

Competition organiser