Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010


by Grace Lo Porto

Why is it that, with words that heal the heart
We barely have enough to buy our bread?
It’s hard to even get the nerve to start—
“Novels pay better.  Just do that instead.”
The power in the words is worth a pence—
A penny for the easing of an ache,
A rupee (ha!) for tearing down that fence
Inside your heart.  For words that move and shake,
We all get nothing.  Nothing but a name,
On books that hardly anybody reads;
Well I say I refuse to play that game,
To prick myself with pens until I bleed
And die, and am not mourned.  No, I will write
And fire from my words will light the night—
And they will learn to treat this poet right.
And if, upon my death, you find I lied—
I beg your pardon.  But at least I lived,
And tried.  And lit a fire there inside—
(You feel it there?)  It’s all that I can give,
But it’s enough.  Even if I can’t burn,
One of you will, I think.  And men will learn
That mending hearts is worth more than we earn,
And truth worth more than Einstein can discern.

Added: 10.03.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


A clever poem, sorry I couldn't put it through, it was a tough decision