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Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Yale UCL Medical and Engineering Students' Poetry Competition 2014 winner

Cliffs of Moher

It’s lucky that you came today, for I’ll not long be here.
The sea will never let me be; I live in constant fear
That soon I may be swallowed up into his milky sphere.
I was a great hill, once ago, of ancient shales and slates
Deposited while dinosaurs still tramped their wild estates.
When in my turbid youth I lay, the jousting of the plates,
And mountains tumbling from the sky, flung spoils on top of me.
They surged and ebbed, till I became a layer-cake of history.
Now each day’s the sea’s birthday, and he cuts a slice of me.
For the sea loves celebration, but he has no memory,
And he thinks each day his birthday, and his joy knows no degree,
And he rushes to embrace the land, and yearns to set it free.
So the sea will never let me rest; I live in constant dread.


He gnaws and scratches at my feet, to topple down my head,
Insisting that I lie beside him in his foamy bed.
Yet thanks to him my skin is fresh, and I have come to be
A sight so rare that my admirers cross the world to see;
But if you think that is my gift, you misunderstand me.
Flies climb and circle round my face, lice scuttle on my head,
And tiny plankton at my feet search my wrinkles to be fed.
This itchy torment is my wealth; its value can’t be said.
But still the sea won’t leave me be, I live at constant risk
That soon I may be shivered down and scattered on his disc.
It’s lucky that you came today, for I’ll not long persist.


Nicholas Taylor – Cliffs of Moher

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