Highly Commended, Short category 2006

These poems received Highly Commended listings from judge Matt Merritt. We can't reproduce them here, because that would make them ineligible for further competition entry, but here's what Matt had to say about them:

Last Act - Sally Flint
I thought starting a ten-line poem with two two-line questions was brave, but they’re made to work well by what follows. The "I want to believe" line is great, and the theatrical and Far From The Madding Crowd allusions take the reader in all sorts of unexpected directions.

Milko - Matthew Stewart
I liked the idea behind this one, the stories contained in the changing size of the milkman’s delivery, but there’s a lot else to admire too. The way "chimed", err, chimes with "pints", for starters! Simple and straightforward, but well achieved.

the diver - Catherine Edmunds
I don’t mind admitting I’m still trying out different ways of reading this, but that was one of its appeals, along with its reminder that sound is every bit as important to a poem as sense. I liked the playing around with repetition and elision, and the surprise of "laugh" in the last line, which can still be read several ways.

Matt Merritt