Prize Poems

Donald Davie

  • Arvon Foundation Poetry Competion: 1980 Anthology by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney
    Kilnhurst Publishing Company, 173 pp, £3.00, April 1982, ISBN 0 9508078 0 X
  • Burn this by Tom Disch
    Hutchinson, 63 pp, £7.50, April 1982, ISBN 0 09 146960 0

The Arvon Foundation’s 1980 Anthology contains four splendid poems: Stephen Watts’s ‘Praise Poem for North Uist’, and Keith Bosley’s ‘Corolla’; Aidan Carl Mathews’s ‘Severances’, and John Levett’s ‘The Photographs of Paris’. The first two are longish, the others shorter. The only one that won a prize – and that the smallest, £100 – is ‘Corolla’, a sequence of nine exactly rhymed and metred sonnets, culminating in a stunning version of the Ronsard sonnet that defeated Yeats:

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