2017 Winning Poem

The winning entry to the Eugene Lee-Hamilton Prize in 2017 was 'Merlin's Tower' by Conor Wilcox-Mahon, St John's College, Oxford.

Merlin's Tower

While I sat staring up into that cloud

Burst shimmering on the sky, pink and untame,

The oculus of my thin window’s frame

Bent time and light around me in a shroud.

Held transfixed by the lens, my mind was bowed

Towards that great executor of shame

Impressing cold what reason breaks to name

With gentle force, and revelations proud.

The metered arrogance that billows out

And absurd cleanness of that gradient sky

Make endless statements to my feebled will:

The magnifier lets no seeping doubt

Diffuse down from the heavens to an eye

That saw no universe, nor cannot see it still.

by Conor Wilcox-Mahon, St John's College, Oxford