Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2021: Instinct

we’re animals

we’re wild

we hide and hunt and fight for life

submit and commit and transmit from our deepest insides

claw cages open wide so that we might run raggedly free

cower in a corner close our eyes against our terror

nip and shove and nuzzle those we love

lash out when our soft centres are exposed

and when warmth is in our bones we roll over

and breathe slow

Poem recorded as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2021. Used by permission of author.

Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2021 Winners

Poetry Archive Now! was established in 2020 to enable us to gather recordings from a much wider pool of talented poets from the UK and ...

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Marika Keen

I'm 21 years old and I live in Devon. I love to communicate things through poetry that I wouldn't otherwise know how to express; I discovered how much I enjoyed writing poems around the age of 15, when I was first diagnosed with mental health issues such as anxiety and OCD. Writing helps me focus on the present moment and connect with my surroundings.


A special thank you to our WordView 2021 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Imtiaz Dharker, says: "An idea that began as a response to the world shutting down has, joyfully, become a way to invite the whole world in. It has been exciting to see the entries come in from different countries, from marginalised voices, from people of all backgrounds who now know this space belongs to them. My fellow judges and I were struck by the immediacy of experience and commitment to language in the winning entries. It's also good to think that the rest of the entries will continue to be seen as an invaluable record of our times."

See the collectionWatch the full Wordview 2021 playlist