MAG Poetry Competition 2011 – Shortlisted Poem

Old Gold

by Rachel Irven

Thin with the years, bent and twisted
Like her hands, worn from long work.
This ring has seen hard days.
 
She always wore it, his symbol of love,
Scrubbing floors, hoarding scraps
Making do and mending.
 
Later still, her children
Then grandchildren tested it with toothless gums.
On special days it polished up a treat.
 
Eyeless tiny sockets mark
Where the pinprick diamonds once were set,
Treasures lost in a thousand soapy sinks.
 
He promised her better when days improved
But somehow there were
Always more important things...
 
Time passes and she has gone.
I hold her age-marked hands in my mind
And her ring is warm in the palm of my hand.
 

Added: 28.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem

04.05.2011

Moving - no mention of what her life had meant!

04.05.2011

Sounds a little as though it might have been an exercise in a creative writing class but well written and paints a neat picture.

04.05.2011

Very poingnant. Loved the eyeless sockets image.

05.05.2011

I could see this woman. I felt written from memory. I still have my mother's ring. A sad poem. Nice images of soap suds - her hard life.

17.05.2011

The only problem for me is that I think the word 'ring' need not be mentioned in the first stanza.

18.05.2011

Wow, this is good. Extremely clever how the ring embodies and becomes a personification of the wearer

19.05.2011

liked this poem,reminded me of my own mother,of the sygnificance of objects and their associated memories.

25.05.2011

original, holds your interest

27.05.2011

nice

08.06.2011

I like the imagery of the ring and all it represents in terms of the woman's life.

08.06.2011

The simplicity and gentleness of this poem is lovely

08.06.2011

Good to see a poem on here with definite stanzas - many pieces looked like prose.

08.06.2011

As if the ring was a talisman to bring magic. A strong poem I thought. Lovely

08.06.2011

Her pain brought into the present.

08.06.2011

Good take on the theme, some nice imagery (sockets of missing diamonds); good ideas of what lasts and what doesn't.

08.06.2011

:)

09.06.2011

beautiful story

09.06.2011

The poem started well and the images of the grandchildren were strong but it petered out disappointingly at the end.

09.06.2011

Moving poem focussing upon the ring, a symbol of a woman's life experiences. Beautiful.

10.06.2011

It's grey, yet so colourful, full of childhood images mixed in with the grown-up ideas... I really liked it.

11.06.2011

I like how the object describes the life of the old woman and evokes her memory when held by another

13.06.2011

lovely last two lines

14.06.2011

Loved the strong final image. The rest lacked some momentum for me.

14.06.2011

Nice and spare, a life collecting around a small object.

17.06.2011

beautiful poem, well done

18.06.2011

sentiments well expressed. good contrast of warm emotions and harsh realities.

Email:

Share:

Back