Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Paternoster: The Lord's Prayer (spoken by a draught horse) -- Jen Hadfield, winner of the 2008 TS Eliot Prize

Jen Hadfield has won the TS Eliot 2008 Prize. Here's her Paternoster: The Lord's Prayer spoken by a draught horse:


for A.B.J

Paternoster. Paternoster.
Hallowed be dy mane.

D'kingdom come.
D'draftwork be done

though heart stiffen
in the harness.

Still plough the day
an give out daily bray.

Then sleep fasten harness with bear-bells
and trot on bravely into sleep

where the black an bay
the sorrel an the grey

an foals an bearded wheat
are waiting.

It is on earth as it is in heaven.
Drought, wildfire; skinny

wild asparagus,
yellow flowers on the flowering cactus.

Give our daily wheat, wet
whiskers in the tin bucket.

Knead my heart, hardened daily.
Ease the imprint in my heart.

Gies our oats at bedtime
an in the night half sleeping.

Give meadows, hayrolls,
whiskery knappin.*

Paternoster. Paternoster.
Hallowed be dy hot mash.

*knappin - two ponies cleaning each other's hair with their mouths.

© 2008, Jen Hadfield
From: Nigh-No-Place:
Publisher: Bloodaxe, 2008

1 comment:

Jane R said...

Gorgeous. Thanks.

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