25% off Poetry Books for Members

WOMEN'S POETRY COMPETITION: UNPUBLISHED POET PRIZE ERIN COPPIN

Posted on December 06 2019

Runner-up Erin Coppin received this year's special Unpublished Poet Prize for being previously unpublished at the point of submission. 

Malika Booker described this piece as a 'sparse powerful poem that hinges on a shocking volta like turn in the thirteenth line. Coppin uses alliteration throughout the poem to illuminate the ordinary scene of a woman lighting a fire. Yet rightly abandons all poetic lyricism for the stark admission in line fourteen: “I have not felt the baby move in days,” providing a shocking pathos, that blindsides, shifting the obsessive description of the fire into an extended metaphor for worrying or loss.'

 

Kindling

 

I kneel to make a fire

paper    kindling    logs

   lie waiting for the spark

I strike

 

the flame’s absorbed

  turns twigs to tiny torches

kindling’s caught

 

Exhaling in a bellows of relief

tongues of fire lick and flick and

hope still leaps

 

   too soon

 

I hesitate but strike another match

     another twenty matches

 

I have not felt the baby move in days

 

I sweep the ashes and

   the half-charred kindling

   from the grate

  

  

Recent Posts