Poetry Society Member Nigel Speight‘s poem ‘Auntie Florence’ has won Holland Park Press’s Is Royalty Relevant? Competition.
After studying in Oxford Nigel Speight taught English Literature and was Head of an English Department. This overlapped with 40 years as a journalist in the gambling industry and a stint as a chuchwarden in St. Mary Magdalen’s, a central Oxford church. Nigel continues to live in Oxford. He blogs at merrilymerrily.co.uk
The poem ends poignantly:
Finally, you were forgetting your own family,
but always you remembered the Princess.
It was her due.
Because, as your life ended,
you believed she remembered you.
I wanted the poem to mix comedy and pathos. Our Auntie Florry was a lovely lady who warranted respect. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s often seem to have become calm and gentle souls, but our Florence was a kindly person long before she was afflicted.
Holland Park Press say:
This poem stands out from the 346 entries because of the original interpretation of the competition’s theme and its wonderful rhythm and imagery. The poem manages to catch the essence of the generation that grew up during the Second World War.
Judge Arnold Jansen op de Haar says:
I love the way Nigel Speight interprets the competition’s theme by making Princess Margaret an imaginary family member in the life of an ageing aunt. It’s personal, yet it’s also a thought-provoking comment on a generation.
Holland Park Press publishes literary fiction and poetry and places special emphasis on bringing the work of Dutch authors to the English language market.
3 June 2020