Competition no. 232: results

Gerald Bullett commends a poem published in the NS at the start of August, by the Scots poet Alice Vandockum Start – A.V. Stuart (1899 – 1983). Stuart is an occasional figure in the poetry magazines of the thirties, forties, fifties and sixties – she is published in Poetry Review as late as 1962, when she would be, er, my age (it is striking how many poets in PR in the fifties and sixties have a link to the NS – Eleanor Farjeon, Vita Sackville-West, Frances Cornford, for instance). She was born in Rangoon; she went to Oxford; she settled in Edinburgh – The Dark Tarn is her most visible collection (1955). Having Bullett single her out would have seemed a feather in the cap. Or perhaps not …

In the Stuart poem, a ‘lone, gaunt spinster’ thinks of the power of literature, and compares it unfavourably to the frivolity of youth:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABullett’s reaction has been ‘Very true. And yet …’ He wants the ‘And yet’ poem.

There is a large postbag, which Bullett winnows and winnows until he gets to five (one of whom is William Bliss). With a shrug, he admits he thinks none of them are worth a first prize. A character called Midas is given the second prize:

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spinsters

Gaunt Spinsters

 

 

 

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