Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2021: The Benefits of Education during Lockdown

Week 6

I’m reduced to reading Tolkien

to The Dog, who hides under the table

when the Nazgûls come.


Week 7

I read him Barchester Towers,

but after page two he buries his nose

in his tail and falls asleep.


Week 8

On page two hundred and four

of the dictionary, there’s a smudge

shaped like a pawmark.


Week 9

Amazon’s delivered an Advanced Maths book

that I didn’t order, addressed to a Mr D Barker.

My spectacles have been missing for three days.


Week 10

The Dog’s left me a note, saying

that his food dish can be in two places

at once, so could I fill it twice.


Week 11

The Dog’s trying to teach me Tensor Calculus.

Stop complaining, he growls. How else

are you going to understand General Relativity?


Week 12

The Dog’s written a novel, vaccinated

half the population of Wales in his spare time,

and is phoning the local hospital about me.


Week 13

Owing to unfortunate circumstances, my human

will be writing no more entries. Please remain in your homes

and wait for the sound of barking at your door.

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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Nairn Kennedy

Nairn Kennedy is a Leeds-based poet whose work has appeared in Ambit, Orbis, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The London Magazine, The North, Under the Radar (forthcoming) and Stand (forthcoming). He's twice been a prizewinner in the Ilkley Walter Swan Competition and has been longlisted in the National. He enjoys (gentle) walks in the Yorkshire countryside, and, as well as writing poetry, likes to develop computer software in his spare time.


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