The Sheffield Poetry Prize 2010

The Sheffield Poetry Prize 2010 (sponsored by The University of Sheffield) goes to James Caruth for 'The Deposition'.

This poem will appear in the next issue of The North magazine and on this page, and the poet will receive £100 and be invited to read at our competition winners' reading.

Anthony Adler's poem 'The Metaphors are Owls' came in second place, andFay Musselwhite's 'Boulder' was third.

 

THE DEPOSITION

See how he captures light
in the linen shroud
and how the edges of the painting
fall to darkness.

Caravaggio knew about dying,
how a man becomes bones in a sack,
how the dead surprise us
with sudden gravity.

This scattering of citizens
bent with the burden,
their careful eyes watching
the soldiers out of view, watching.

This is no place for rites.
They pick up what’s left;
there will be time
for the heart to make sense of it.

And now this photograph again,
the grainy tableau of men
carrying a body through the streets,
the priest waving a linen handkerchief

while at the edges, soldiers
blur to a grey terrace of houses.
All the mouths stopped
for one thousandth of a second.

— James Caruth

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