To mark my final day as The Worcestershire Poet Laureate, here’s the sonnet which (I’m told) wowed the judges a year ago. I’ll be performing it again tonight alongside the winner of this year’s competition. Whichever of the 3 excellent finalists takes over, I know they will make the most of their own poetic gift.
I had a gift
I had a gift, a flush of fragrant flowers,
a wild bouquet tossed carelessly into
a slender vase, so crammed with colour, full
of bursting buds, each of them beautiful
but standing so unruly, heads askew,
competing for the sun’s receding hours.
These fresh, young beauties wooed me as I stood
to contemplate the many ways I could
arrange them. Since no teacher ever taught
such vital skills, I gave it years of thought.
As one by one the weaker blossoms failed,
my task was rendered easier by the day
and when the final bloom had drooped and paled,
an empty vase was gently borne away.
© Heather Wastie