Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011


by Isabelle Coy-Dibley

I must ask once more since I’ve forgotten.
This always happens to me...
As I’ve grown old, I’ve lost my mind,
Or maybe I gave it away?
I can never find my keys,
And I feel like I’m on repeat.
I’m sorry for repeating
Myself, is this the way back to my house? I’ve forgotten.
I hear no jingle of door keys,
I’m not sure what’s happened to me,
And with the fairies, some say I’m away-
Or is it some say I’m away with the fairies? God I think I’ve lost my mind.
They told me I have an illness of the mind,
I heard them repeat
The symptoms a lot but I just want to run away,
But this is something that can’t be forgotten,
Though it makes me
Forget more than just my keys.
Give them back. She’s taken my keys.
I’m always being undermined
I can never go anywhere by myself, why won’t she leave me
Alone? Why do I always repeat
Myself? Who are you? Oh I’m forgetting
It’s a bad day- please, just go away.
I wish I could just find a way
To cure myself, before I get lost by the quays
Again, I pretend it doesn’t bother me but I’m tired of forgetting,
And I know one day I’ll have no mind.
This illness has become an obsession of repetition,
But how do I cope with losing what makes ‘me’?
I’ll forget what was once ‘me,’
As I slowly fade away,
No chance now to rewind as I leave all my tapes on repeat,
While I play the same piano keys,
And lose track of the compositions in my mind,
And then forget that I have forgotten.
Please don’t forget me, though I’ll have forgotten.
Soon I won’t repeat things or lose my keys,
I’ll have drifted away and died without a mind.

Added: 16.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


Sestinas are tough. You tackled this well. The theme you've chosen meshes well with the concept of the sestina!


Beautifully written, poigniant in places - a difficult subject handled well.