Friday, May 25, 2018

Senior Poetry Prize, 2018

The Peter Dix Memorial Prize for Poetry (the trophy is displayed above) has been awarded to Tania Stokes, with a Commendation going to Caoimhe Cleary.

Mr Canning comments: "'Death of a Moth' is delicately atmospheric and loaded with subtle colouring, movement and sound. The evocative language and imagery masks the undercurrent of a desperate struggle for life in a spiritual place. 'Signs of Life' is again full of sounds at every level with the poem linked effectively and simply by two isolated sprung lines. Both her pieces show that Tania is mature beyond her years, a precocious talent."

Commended Caoimhe Cleary's "body of poems on 'Wellness' sought to chronicle stages of recovering from mental illness and trauma.  Her poem 'Electric Picnic' was a strong, gritty assortment of images accentuated by jumpy alliteration. Her poems 'Bulb' echoed William Carlos Williams and imagist poems like 'This is Just to Say', while 'White Swans' evoked a very different take on Yeats's masterpiece 'The Wild Swans At Coole.'

These poems will be published in the coming days. 
First, 'Death of a Moth' by Tania Stokes.

Someone was dimly aware
Of a pair of fluttering wings.
In the half-light of the morning,
A moth scattered tiny shadows
On the chapel pews,
Illuminated faintly
By the stained-glass panes.

Floating abreast with the dust
On a bed of hushed voices,
The moth rose above the drone
Of sleeping psalms. The wan light glowed
In the windows,
Dappling colour
On a faded red floor.

Lost in a garden of stone
And regarding the windows,
The moth flitted to this crowd
Of glass flowers. The sunlight welled
From their petals,
Bright, golden nectar
For insectile eyes.

Nothing could prise it away
Though it tired of seeking its prize –
The moth’s instincts were a sorry guide.
Not once was the thing alighting
While it chased the light.
At last still, the husk rested
On the window sill.

Someone was dimly aware
Of an emptiness filling the room.
Some sixth sense of quiet mourning
Touched maybe one
For this faint struggle –
Begun, continued and ended
And noticed by none.

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