'Sand' was commended in the 2020 National Poetry Competition.

From the judges: "We loved this poem's understanding of the world of childhood imagination, the way that's pinned down in charming moments like 'I take her out for a spin to Lundy Island/to see the puffins and the granite stacks.' The poem has us from the first two lines, establishing a memorable idea which it uses to communicate the lovely relationship with the grandfather, as well as the pain of parental separation. The moment of wanting to destroy the car, to 'ruin her so no one else can ruin her,' moves us in the sort of direction of childhood conceptions of big ideas found in Berryman's 'The Ball Poem' - and all this is achieved through the completely wonderful symbol of an MG convertible made of sand!”

Sand

by Vanessa Lampert

On Woolacombe beach my Grandpa builds
an MG convertible sports car from sand,
in front of the swingboats where I was sick once.

My car faces the wind-ruffled sea, roof down
under a sky made from torn strips of paper.
Grandpa slowly carves the bonnet and makes me

a member of the AA. He shapes the wheels
and stands back, proud as a car salesman.
Other kids are staring. They want to be me.

In a few weeks my parents will separate,
but now our orange windbreak holds them
close together in flowery beach chairs

safe from the wind. I sit behind the steering wheel
of my new MG. The engine starts first try.
I take her out for a spin to Lundy Island

to see the puffins and the granite stacks
and back, beeping my horn to warn the surfers,
who wave. I park her where she was before,

facing out to sea. Mum looks up from her book
and says it must be time for a 99.
I want to jump on my car before we leave,

and ruin her so no one else can ruin her,
but Grandpa won’t let me. He takes my hand
in his, saying don’t look back. Let’s go.

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”.  Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally.  Today it has more than 5,000 members worldwide and publishes The Poetry Review.

With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, The Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages.

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“Writing is distraction and focus in one” says Hollie McNish... Hollie, Kae Tempest, Raymond Antrobus, Jay Bernard, Roger McGough & Simon Armitage on Poetry in the pandemic. theguardian.com/books/2021/may…

We’re so sad to hear of the death of Scottish poet Brian Johnstone. Sharing a poem from his 2021 collection @Arc_Poetry The Marks on the Map. A reminder that people can leave a long long trace on the landscape.

test Twitter Media - We’re so sad to hear of the death of Scottish poet Brian Johnstone. Sharing a poem from his 2021 collection @Arc_Poetry  The Marks on the Map. A reminder that people can leave a  long long trace on the landscape. https://t.co/LOrU2VFOOe
test Twitter Media - We’re so sad to hear of the death of Scottish poet Brian Johnstone. Sharing a poem from his 2021 collection @Arc_Poetry  The Marks on the Map. A reminder that people can leave a  long long trace on the landscape. https://t.co/LOrU2VFOOe

We are delighted to announce #FreedomAcrossTheGlobe, an exciting new partnership for 14-25 year olds with @urbanwordnyc! ✨Submit a poem on freedom by 16 May ✨Sign up for a workshop on 15 May ✨Get tickets to the global youth showcase on 22 May Join in: poetrysociety.org.uk/young-poets/fr… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

"But this overshoots the mark, this gnashing sorrow, so Wagnerian; it was more a vague, grey element I moved in that kept me remote and slow," from 'Fly', Fiona Benson in Poetry Review Spring 2018 Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 30’s prompt is: Opera

test Twitter Media - "But this overshoots the mark,
this gnashing sorrow, so Wagnerian;
it was more a vague, grey element I moved in
that kept me remote and slow,"
from 'Fly', Fiona Benson in Poetry Review Spring 2018
Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021
Day 30’s prompt is: Opera https://t.co/qNnDrPMdqT

'And the wind said 'Shush' through the keyhole and the rain said 'Hush your lies.' ' But I wasn't listening in the least with my hands brimful of stars.' Vona Groarke 'Poetry Review' @PoetrySociety Retweeted by The Poetry Society

"At sunrise picture bottles smashed in flight, As day spills round your feet; a pool of light." ‘Ode to the Milkman’, Sinéad O’ Reilly, commended in Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020 bit.ly/irelanddaymilk… @PoetryDay_IRL

"It is not Samuel Beckett's fault Or the fault of any man who stays Awake, who cannot sleep with all The fuss injustice makes." 'The Seven Pear Trees of Avigdor Arikha', Thomas McCarthy in Poetry Review Spring 2016 @PoetryDay_IRL

test Twitter Media - "It is not Samuel Beckett's fault
Or the fault of any man who stays
Awake, who cannot sleep with all
The fuss injustice makes."
'The Seven Pear Trees of Avigdor Arikha', Thomas McCarthy in Poetry Review Spring 2016  @PoetryDay_IRL https://t.co/96Hhzb3LDk

"I pressed against her, arms around her waist, her strong swimmer’s legs pushing us up the brae, (legs that had saved a child from a whirlpool one day in Donegal)." 'Push-bike', Elaine Gaston, commended #NationalPoetryCompetition 2013 bit.ly/irelanddaypush… @PoetryDay_IRL

test Twitter Media - "I pressed against her, arms around her waist,
her strong swimmer’s legs pushing us up the brae,
(legs that had saved a child from a whirlpool one day

in Donegal)."
'Push-bike', Elaine Gaston, commended #NationalPoetryCompetition 2013 https://t.co/gwGEqJ386A @PoetryDay_IRL https://t.co/HxACRS8Obh

An otwituary for Michael Collins by Andy Jackson twitter.com/azjackson/stat…

"when I tell Arji I'm meant to be writing Chinese wallpaper poems but don't know what to write he deeply empathises" from 'Dazzling Blue' Hannah Lowe in Poetry Review Autumn 2019 Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 29’s prompt is: Chinese Wallpaper

test Twitter Media - "when I tell Arji I'm meant
to be writing Chinese wallpaper poems
but don't know what to write
he deeply empathises"
from 'Dazzling Blue' Hannah Lowe in Poetry Review Autumn 2019
Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021
Day 29’s prompt is: Chinese Wallpaper https://t.co/eGpInMl6hG