T S Eliot Prize

I got one of the short-listed collections Weeds & Wild Flowers by Alice Oswald for Christmas which I’m enjoying but somehow I don’t think it will win.

Meanwhile the Poetry Book Society has one of Jane Draycott’s poems as poem of the month


A house is a good large object to visualise
‘Seeing With the Mind’s Eye’, Samuels & Samuels

Walk slowly round it, then picture yourself
in one of the rooms. Now move through
the rest of the house as if you were a camera.
The kitchen’s a back street in a labyrinth
of slums, impossibly hot, where the heroine’s
hopelessly lost but daren’t stop searching
though her kids both sense something’s
terribly wrong. In the back room a woman
sits on the stoop with her head on her knees
since a tornado’s wrecked every inch
of the cabin she had held together for years.
Now visualise the hallway (something like
a Hitchcock, one jacket on the coat-stand,
the key swinging in the door as if possessed),
then up to the landing where two children, girls,
are struggling in a plunging torrent to save the dog
and precious childhood toys caught in the flood.
Finally go back to the room you first visualised,
the one with the mirror, then look outside
at the men circling the house, the one just leaving.

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