We are grateful to Ann Day, who was willing to be the judge for the Spring issue. We call her the Jenny Appleseed of poetry in Vermont for her long service to poetry in this state and, in recent years, in New Hampshire as well. Her attunement to the ways of nature in New England shines through the lines of her poems.  With that in mind, you may not be surprised to learn the winner of the quarterly prize!

Her comments follow:

I picked Matthew Cory’s poem, “Envy” as the first place winner for the Spring 2021 issue.  It is concise and stays on the point, which is in the title “Envy.”  I found myself going back to the poem again and again thinking “YES.”  The rhyme is not forced and the poem flows from stanza to stanza.  It is not complicated; Cory uses simple yet appropriate words: “when autumn woos September, …sour with discontent…”  and “Fierce, focused waves don’t sob or sigh…”  I love that line!!!  This excellent poem says so much in a few short stanzas.  “The tides, nature and seasons” says it in one line: three easy words say it all.

First Runner up: “Echo” by Dorrith Leipziger is very clever and well done with an interesting form, which, in this poem, succeeds very well.

Second Runner Up: ”To Grieve” by James A. Tweedie.  My favorite line is “To journey though a night that has no dawn.”  Very powerful.  The closing couplet, too, has a beautiful twist.

Third Runner Up: “The Wrinkled Brain,” by E. P. Fisher.  “Great title!  I like the idea of “saving the world.”  The fifth stanza should be sent to everybody!

You may find some darkness in these pages mingled with celebration, love and grief as we pass through more strange times.  Indeed, there are three poems with the title, “Cemetery!”  But poets swim in the waters of our collective psyche, reflect and respond to what flows through mind and spirit.  Many are septuagenarians, octogenarians, and nonagenarians who have seen many pendulum swings (NOT like Poe’s “Pit and the Pendulum” we dare to hope!)  but more aligned with the movement of a Foucault’s pendulum or the comforting swing of a grandfather clock.

As we pause, with a finger in the air, waiting for a puff of it as the pendulum swings by, please take a moment along with us, to thank The Lyric Foundation, which makes this poetry visible to the world and brings it to your door.