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The Verb

The Verb

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performances...

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The Verb Presented by Ian McMillan (2)
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The Proms Poetry Competition

The Proms Poetry Competition

Congratulations to the winners of this year's Prom Poetry Competition.

The winner of the adult category was Sue Leigh and her poem was inspired by Peter Maxwell Davies’ Ebb of Winter.

 

Ebb of Winter
 
(after Peter Maxwell Davies)

 

 

I would write in sea runes

on shellsand

between the tidelines

 

it should be heard

through sea-spray and haar

lit by the pale gong of the sun

 

a falling sound

like keening from the burial mound

at Meur

 

the call of the curlew

fragments of a folksong

the wind’s coda

 

 

And the winner of the 12-18 category was Jade Cuttle.

 

The Art of Splinters


Bach, St John Passion at Royal Albert Hall

The stage is a show of splinters, shadows split and splay at the violin's bow,

stabbing in swords and swoops, the heart begins to bleed at its blow.

 

Simon Peter struck the High Priest's servant with a sword, cutting off his right ear.


The ear crawls into its shell, sheltered from the spit and spray of the storm,
thundering in tenor and tone, the heart is tossed by these tides then torn.

Spat upon, scourged and streaked with blood, His back resembles heavenly skies.

The sunlight snags on a branch, sky is stripped to the spine and ripped in rage,

beating in blades and blasts, the heart bursts the banks of its cage.

From the thorns that pierce Him bloom sweet fruit and heavenly flowers.


The flower rips out its roots, spitting its seeds leaves flit and flail in fright,
flinging in fists and furls, the heart bursts into bloom at its bite.

He bowed his head and died,
                                              
pinned at the palm by the sharp kiss of splinters.

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