|Montana poet, Finn Anderson|
Among the poems read in the judging of this prize, many stood out for their starkly imagistic slants on reality, often transmuting somewhere into the magic and music of great poetry. None, however, with more wit, surprise and wistfully elegant tragedy than the sonnet, 'The Trampoline'.
Its mastery of form and subtle yet heartbreak-inducing rhymes transform a familiar domestic object into a perfect objective correlative for the everyday tragedies that pockmark all our little lives. Step out from anonymity, Orfinn Ani. This sonnet deserves it.
By contrast, my runner up, Vik Shirley, showed us how comedy can be a delightful element in poetry with her 'My One-Year-Old Niece' which also had me in raptures.
My congratulations to all the short-listed poets, and indeed all who entered. It was a delight to read all your work, especially from those who are as yet not published, yet show enormous sensitivity and talent. Please keep writing! - AP
The trampoline is old and broken now.
Around its ambit absent springs, like teeth,
show gaps; we find them rusted underneath.
The sagging tarp is pocked, the metal bowed
and pinched from weight, and rain. The laminate
warning label's faded, its yellow ink run
brown to a shade of puke, or cigarette stain.
Of two divorces, two surgeries, you'd think
our father would've scrapped it long ago,
or given it to some kid down the road,
not left it, skeletal and mean, for his sons
to pallbear in his pickup to the dump.
He must have watched it patiently erode.
I wonder if he ever tried to jump.
Finn Anderson (pictured above) is a young American poet from Missoula, Montana, age of 25. He writes: 'I've worked in restaurants, bars, done construction, been a white water rafting guide, a ski instructor, a student. I've always loved reading. I love Leonard Cohen. I love skateboarding. I love my parents, and the summer.'