A “fresh, bold” shortlist for the TS Eliot prize for poetry pits Sean Borodale’s first collection against major names Simon Armitage, Sharon Olds and Kathleen Jamie.
Borodale, a poet and artist who writes documentary poems on location, was chosen for Bee Journal, a poem-journal which tells the life of a bee hive. Writing in the Guardian, Armitage chose it as one of his books of 2011, saying that “like the honey he describes, ‘disconcerting, / solid broth / of forest flora full of fox’, these are poems so dense and rich you could stand a spoon in them”. Armitage himself was shortlisted for The Death of King Arthur, a translation of a 15th-century poem, Olds for Stag’s Leap, about the end of her marriage, and Jamie for The Overhaul, the poet’s first collection since 2004’s Forward prize-winning The Tree House.
Let’s take a look at a poem by Mr. Borodale, courtesy of Granta: