Pre-Raphaelite Society Poetry Competition

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that my poem ‘The Branding of Elgiva’ has won first place in the Pre-Raphaelite Society’s annual poetry competition. My winning poem will be published in the spring issue of the Society’s Review.

Elgiva by Joanna Boyce Wells, photograph taken at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

The competition asked for poems inspired by/responding to the Pre-Raphaelites and their circle. My poem was a short ekphrastic piece after Elgiva (pictured) by Joanna Boyce Wells, which I first saw at the superb National Portrait Gallery exhibition Pre-Raphaelite Sisters. It was so important to me that I write about the work of a female artist. The painting – and my poem – depicts the real-life medieval queen Elgiva, whose face was brutally branded after defeat in war. I was inspired by the way the Pre-Raphaelites painted women, with strength and fierceness.

The Pre-Raphaelite Society was founded in 1988 to celebrate the work of the Pre-Raphaelites. You can find out more about the Society here.

2 thoughts on “Pre-Raphaelite Society Poetry Competition

  1. ‘Cross a meadow clothed with flowers
    Neath an oak trees sleepy bowers
    There around her dress was fanned
    Sat like statue roslyand
    ‘Pon her lap forgotten lain
    A triple link of daisy chains
    Fashioned half a century passed
    Still the colours they hold fast
    Butter gold laced peerless white
    Aged but still most summer bright
    Daughter born of seers and sages
    Clutches she the curse’d pages
    Dark the ink and black the spell
    Conjured from the bowels of hell
    Beneath this oak tree strong and tall
    Sweet roslyand is held in thrall
    Magic weaved from far and near
    Has bound her ten and ninety years
    Ne’er to walk the meadowed land
    Ne’er to feel the suns soft hand
    Sorcery like iron bands
    Imprisons our poor roslyand
    No day differs from the last
    Nought a future nor a past……,,


  2. Through the glade good morning bade
    A songbird groomed for flight
    Her task to tell the secret dell
    The ending of the night

    Serpentine through dandelion’s the bramble hides to snag
    The wraggwort grows by wild rose
    The oak tree ivy clad

    A cabbage white it does alight
    Upon a buttercup a swan or two that passes sets down to preen and sup……


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: