Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

Softly Flows the Don

by Andrew Smith

The mills are closed and long gone
But softly flows the Don
Silent now the sluice gates shut
Where once a turbulent river flowed
Whispering over shallows
Brooding in dark foreboding narrows
Its shapeless form meanders
In a meaningless excursion
Without purpose or exertion
But oh for the days of long ago
When work was never done
And men and mill were never still
When voices rose in old refrain
Will life ever be the same
Home was a cottage with roses round the door
And love would never wane

Added: 18.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


I am transported back to a time long gone, I am standing beside the soflty flowing Don, and in my ears...the chatter of yesterday's voices.


Well paced ideas; units of thought in each line are effective and clear, even without punctuation. An evocative and nostalgic piece.


A lovely poem unfortunately the subject matter didn't quite grab me but loved the writing.