1st Prize, National Poetry Competition 2007

Through the Square Window

by Sinead Morrissey

In my dream the dead have arrived
to wash the windows of my house.
There are no blinds to shut them out with.

the clouds above the Lough are stacked
like the clouds are stacked above Delft.
They have the glutted look of clouds over water.

The heads of the dead are huge. I wonder
if it’s my son they’re after, his
effortless breath, his ribbon of years-

but he sleeps on unregarded in his cot,
inured, it would seem, quite naturally
to the sluicing and battering and parting back of glass

that delivers this shining exterior
One blue boy holds a rag in his teeth
between panes like a conjuror.

And then, as suddenly as they came, they go.
And there is a horizon
from which only the clouds stare in,

the massed canopies of Hazelbank,
the severed tip of the Strangford Peninsula,
and a density in the room I find it difficult to breathe in

until I wake, flat on my back with a cork
in my mouth, stopper-bottled, in fact,
like a herbalist’s cure for dropsy.

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 4000 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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All a-quiver to be reading with luminaries Ian Duhig, Jo Shapcott, Sinéad Morrissey, Liz Berry, Mary Jean Chan, Fran Lock, Stephen Sexton, Mark Pajak & Caleb Parkin at Kings Place in March for 40th anniversary of National Poetry Competition! @PoetrySociety poetrysociety.org.uk/event/national… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

"mum will you pack me up / in your stomach again. and tape shut / the slit in your middle: / the bit that opened like a door." Day 14 of our #Advent Calendar and we've a stunning poem, 'small print' by #FoyleYoungPoet Suzanne Antelme illustrated by @chrisriddell50. Retweeted by The Poetry Society

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test Twitter Media - Meet Woody. In the @PoetrySociety office just for today and very, very, very, well behaved. Goooooood boy! https://t.co/fnLT68g3fK

For those of you interested in #ecopoetry, 'I Am The Universe' is a collaboration between @PoetrySociety and Leeds University, to get young poets writing about climate change. The anthology can be read here. #climatechange #poetry buff.ly/2S2iTCs Retweeted by The Poetry Society

A great opportunity on Monday to hear our quite exceptional poets read their work - why not join us for a 'Proper Hedgehog Christmas' 17th December 7.30pm Poetry Society Cafe, Covent Garden @PoetrySociety @natpoetrylib @RaineGeoghegan5 @kent_nj @suekburge @davidmarkwilliams Retweeted by The Poetry Society