Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010


by Sophie Newman-Sanders

sometimes I hate myself so much
I can't breathe
I can't think
I don't want to think

the deep, deep aching deadness
can only do so much

I want to tear my head
from my shoulders and
send it spinning

great grey grinning bowling ball

I want to reach inside myself
and crush my heart
so that it oozes between my fingers

strawberry jam

I want it to scream
as I crush it
long, terrible screams

that go on and on;
I won't care when I'm dead

I want to nail myself
to a cross
and watch the blood soak
into the asphalt
the sign above my head will read

she crucified herself

sometimes I feel like nothing
on this earth can touch me
I am the space
between atoms

and then I remember
the old man who smiled at me this morning,
the toddler who faltered in the playground –
she liked my purple shoes

and I remember the way
dawn comes flooding in
borne aloft by birdsong
and honeysuckle sunlight

and I want to live again

Added: 03.04.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


Fantastic use of imagery with the bowling ball and the strawberry jam -perhaps a tad over-sentimental re; the child and old person?..


So powerful, honest and thought evoking!


I loved the 2nd half of the poem but the 1st half was not subtle enough. Try to hint at self-destructive feelings rather than spell them out


Some very powerful and painful images - 'great..bowling ball,''sothat it oozes..jam,''I am ..atoms.'


A stark poem initially and then it fills the reader with hope. Cleverly done