Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2020: Close Ups in Lockdown

London 2020


Confined to the same streets, I glean details,

snap the gilded bas reliefs of parish arms

on lamp-posts, benches on the Embankment

changing from duck to sphinx to camel going east.


Looking up I’ve caught cupolas, Justice, Art,

Geometry, both draped and nude, old wars’

bronze memorials and, in front of palaces,

arcs of wallflowers edging tulips going over.


The finely-crafted wrought iron gates

and grilles of our secret powerful and rich

have been revelatory, their curlicues

and spikes a refinement of exclusion.


I’ve captured Clement Danes’ electric bells

bouncing childhood rhymes around the Aldwych

but spared you abandoned restaurants,

their dried-up skimmia in forsaken troughs.


I’ve skipped all the shop windows blinded

with chipboard, promises to be back soon,

to focus on once-neglected things, distract

a fretting heart which doesn’t know what’s next.


Look, here’s a letterbox, deco, and another,

arts & crafts. Draw comfort from these apertures,

so elegantly dressed for bills, news, billets doux,

when all you love are elsewhere, out of reach.

Recording provided as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2020. Used by permission of the author.

Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2020 Winners

Welcome to the Poetry Archive Now! WordView 2020 Collection. For the first time the Archive opened its doors wide to poets from around ...

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Kathy Pimlott

I have two pamphlets with The Emma Press, 'Goose Fair Night' (2016) and 'Elastic Glue' (2019). I've been widely published in magazines including Magma, The North, Poem and Under the Radar. I have poems in several anthologies, most recently Oneworld's 'Places of Poetry' and Culture Matters' 'Witches, Warriors Workers'. My debut full collection is due out in spring 2022. I've lived in Covent Garden for the last 40+, where I also work on community-led public realm projects.


A special thank you to our WordView 2020 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Imtiaz Dharker, says: “The hundreds of entries we received blew in to the Archive like a breath of pure, unpolluted air from all over the world, revealing something of the time we are living in, some telling it straight, some slant. It was exciting to check in to the Poetry Archive’s Youtube channel every morning and come upon one unexpected voice after another."

See the collectionWatch the full Wordview 2020 playlist