'Song of my auntie' was commended in the 2020 National Poetry Competition.

From the judges: "A wondrously musical, anaphoric poem and paean to a beloved relative, the often forgotten aunt. It also celebrates a time that has almost but not quite passed into the realms of history, making it a work of restoration that is witty and full of poignant grace.”

Song of my auntie

by Susannah Hart

o auntie of the Kodak Christmases
my auntie of the bread and Marmite rosehip syrup teas
o auntie who told me at twelve I had childbearing hips
auntie whose own hips bore so many children
my five red-headed cousins
o auntie only sister of your dead brother
my little shrinking auntie my tiny auntie with her hair all white
my pocket-sized ornamental auntie
o auntie of the cheques and the politeness
and the Church of England hassocks
my auntie who cuts the heads off whitebait
who finds New Year’s Eve maudlin
my unsentimental auntie my auntie who won’t fly
o auntie my auntie my misremembered auntie
shared bloodline auntie Carnation milk auntie
o auntie whose mother was the same as my father’s
practical auntie with looped pads and belts
who asked tiny cousins if they’d moved their bowels yet
o auntie late married after nursing
fecund and dutiful auntie
fourteen-year-old auntie choosing her father
in court because her brother had chosen their mother
o sacrificial auntie o noble auntie o good citizen
auntie who never swears who turns the telly off
if there’s sex who asks if people really do that
my counterpane auntie my candlewick auntie
my auntie of the hospital corners
o kind friend to his widow taker-in of lost families
my knotted handkerchief auntie my knee-high auntie
o auntie my auntie

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.

More about the Poetry Society…

Tweets @PoetrySociety

"a slack pith helmet, a spaceship shrunken above his denizen grin" from 'Les Murray's Bucket Hat', Ishion Hutchinson, one of the line-up at #poetryreview Spring launch 14 Apr 7pm BST - book here bit.ly/reviewspringla…

test Twitter Media - "a slack
pith helmet, a spaceship
shrunken above

his denizen grin"

from 'Les Murray's Bucket Hat', Ishion Hutchinson, one of the line-up at #poetryreview Spring launch 14 Apr 7pm BST - book here https://t.co/aVuyN3L0hI https://t.co/1R8oxZnklh

Vostok 1 is Yuri’s little lunchbox,                 his spacesuit a scrunched-up smidge of tinfoil. Lid on tight, he is                 a happy crumb of a human being tumbling about... Poyekhali! @olgadermott #Gagarin poems.poetrysociety.org.uk/poems/poyekhal…

test Twitter Media - Vostok 1 is Yuri’s little lunchbox,
                his spacesuit a scrunched-up
smidge of tinfoil. Lid on tight, he is
                a happy crumb of a human being
tumbling about...

Poyekhali! @olgadermott #Gagarin https://t.co/2u831B6QGU https://t.co/bYIDen3LCq

"Words are for things and some words are the truest possible expression of the thing. For instance: vielleicht, gourmand, moist." from 'Amnion', Stephanie Sy-Quia in Poetry Review Spring 2021 Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 12’s prompt is: Untranslatable Words

test Twitter Media - "Words are for things and some words are the truest possible expression of the thing. For instance: vielleicht, gourmand, moist."
from 'Amnion', Stephanie Sy-Quia in Poetry Review Spring 2021
Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021
Day 12’s prompt is: Untranslatable Words https://t.co/35UNCjDzHC

In a new Poetry Review podcast Selima Hill speaks to @no1_emily about the writing process, secrecy, rebellion, family, audiences, East European literature and her pet giant land snail bit.ly/podcastselimah…

test Twitter Media - In a new Poetry Review podcast Selima Hill speaks to @no1_emily about the writing process, secrecy, rebellion, family, audiences, East European literature and her pet giant land snail https://t.co/FY3LqqzQo4 https://t.co/WoApodA7ki

"The largest pumpkin in the world weighs 2,323 pounds. It was grown in Switzerland by Beni Meier" 'Notes on Various Squashes', Padraig Regan in Poetry Review Autumn 2017 Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 11’s prompt is: A poem that uses a piece of trivia

test Twitter Media - "The largest pumpkin in the world weighs 2,323 pounds. It was grown in Switzerland by Beni Meier"
'Notes on Various Squashes', Padraig Regan in Poetry Review Autumn 2017
Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021
Day 11’s prompt is: A poem that uses a piece of trivia https://t.co/pFQZV7ckq3

"Flies in the marrow of wooden hearts that will turn to heat.” from 'Wood Shed Spider With Cloth of Others’, Sean Borodale in Poetry Review Autumn 2018 Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 10’s prompt is: Insects

test Twitter Media - "Flies in the marrow of wooden hearts
that will turn to heat.”
from 'Wood Shed Spider With Cloth of Others’, Sean Borodale in Poetry Review Autumn 2018
Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021
Day 10’s prompt is: Insects https://t.co/wppu83jFg2

As you set out for Ithaka hope your road is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery. Ithaka, CP Cavafy Trans Keeley

"No-one returned my gaze. Not one person knew me." from 'Cold Brightness’, Carol Rumens in Poetry Review Autumn 2009 Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 9’s prompt is: The City

test Twitter Media - "No-one returned my gaze.
Not one person knew me."
from 'Cold Brightness’, Carol Rumens in Poetry Review Autumn 2009
Join @PoetrySociety prompts for #NaPoWriMo 2021
Day 9’s prompt is: The City https://t.co/CxjBrPjOPT

We're hearing your stories! Jack Cooper and Jayant Kashyap started their journey with #YoungPoetsNetwork with the @bletchleypark challenge back in 2018. Three years on, and many, many poems later, what have they learnt? bit.ly/YPN10-1 Retweeted by The Poetry Society