Joint 4th prize in our 2023 Open Poetry Competition was awarded to The Old Hundredth by Andrew Robinson.
Here’s what our judge Jonathan Edwards said of it:
This is a poem of sophisticated lyricism and emotional impact. Its opening section strikes the tone of a writer like Mary Oliver, as we get to share dawn with a speaker who’s observant and alive to his surroundings. I loved the description of the deer as it ‘jump-started,’ and the way the reflections on nature are set alongside the religious echo of ‘all shall be well and all shall be well.’ All of this is beautifully deepened by the revelations of the poem’s last third, which sends us back to the start to feel everything the poem offers us again, in this new knowledge. The poem wonderfully understands the intensity of direct address, and is a brilliant meditation on the nature of life and death.