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Morrissey wins TS Eliot prize

The poem, by Sinéad Morrissey, is inspired by Dorothy Wordsworth’s journals.


A beautiful cloudless morning. My toothache better.
William at work on The Pedlar. Miss Gell
left a basket of excellent lettuces; I shelled
our scarlet beans. Walked out after dinner for letters—
met a man who had once been a Captain begging for alms.

The afternoon airy and warm. No letters. Came home
via the lake, which was near-turquoise
& startled by summer geese.
The soles on this year’s boots are getting worn.
Heard a tiny wounded yellow bird, sounding its alarm.

William as pale as a basin, exhausted with altering…
I boiled up pears with cloves.
Such visited evenings are sharp with love
I almost said dear, look. Either moonlight on Grasmere
                                                      —like herrings!—
or the new moon holding the old moon in its arms.

Sinéad Morrissey was named yesterday as the winner of this year’s TS Eliot poetry prize for her collection Parallax. The prize is worth £15,000. Previous winners have included Paul Muldoon, Ciarán Carson, Michael Longley and Seamus Heaney.