Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

Sorry, what did you say

by Charles Clive

I cannot hear.
Sound has lost its crispness.
Articulated consonants
have merged into blurred murmurings.
The loss was not sudden.
No cataclysmic happening
but rather a gentle deterioration
of a faculty, once taken for granted.
Normal conversation, once a joy,
has become a struggle.
Repartee, chit chat, a little banter
is no more.
The quality of sound
once reverberated and filled spaces;
now I have no spaces – just tinnitus,
constantly grinding away.
To be sightless is to be aware,
with other senses sharpened;
but deafness leads to
introspection, loneliness and deep despair.
The half blind wear their glasses
and are looked upon as wise.
The deaf man, with his hearing aid,
I should know.

Added: 12.04.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


This just made me feel sad, the emptiness, and a feeling of being looked down upon came through too. I really liked this piece.


Well thought out and written.


This is a very sweet poem but i think it could be more powerful with examples perhaps to clarify his experience?