Monday, 13 February 2012


This poem was written for Radio 3's 2001 'Sonnet Tree' competition, taking its cue from the competition's working definition of a sonnet, but not entered there. It finally found a home in the Ver Prize 2009 anthology, p. 42.


A sonnet's any stretch of fourteen lines,
a church is any group of thirty people,
a garden's any ground that has a fence,
a surgeon's anyone using a scalpel,
marriage is any stay for two or more,
victory's yours whatever the event,
a lecturer's a person you can hear,
a student's anybody under twenty.
Perhaps those bring a sense of things deficient,
the estate agent's way of talk run wild.
But you must grin and use such definitions,
and find in them the space to dig and build:
though they may seem inadequate to you,
no law of nature renders them untrue.

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