Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2021: Sonnet on an Old Scarf of my Mother’s

Are you still here in fine atomic form?

Some tiny particle embedded yet

within the weave, indelible – a germ

time won’t allow the fabric to forget?

Would forensic scientists with lab coats,

chemicals and electron microscopes

confirm that yes indeed, your hand brushed here

and through this fibrous mesh you once exhaled,

your soft breath passing like a captive’s tears

evaporating from a woollen gaol?

Funny then I choose this rag to bind my face –

not to inhale some dissipated trace

of your perfume – (what was it that you wore?)

but to help the vulnerable stay secure.

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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Marc Woodward

Poet and musician Marc Woodward writes from rural Devon. He has been widely published, shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Prize and commended for the 2020 Acumen and Aesthetica prizes. His collections include A Fright of Jays (Maquette 2015), Hide Songs (Green Bottle Press 2018), and The Tin Lodes - a collaboration with Andy Brown (Indigo Dreams 2020). www.marcwoodwardpoetry.blogspot.com


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