Young Poet of the Year

Finn van Dorsser (Year 11) has been selected among the best young poets in the world, after being included as one of the Top 15 Foyle Young Poets of the Year.

This is an outstanding achievement for Finn, who entered his incredible poem An Orison to the Future Comet in the worldwide competition, which attracted 10,000 entries by over 6,000 poets from 76 countries.

Last year Finn was one of 85 commended poets and he is understandably thrilled to be named in the top 15 winners this year.

His prize is a week's residential writing course at The Hurst Arvon Centre, UK in 2017.

Finn's poem was read out by one of the judges in London, and will be published in a Foyle Young Poets of the Year anthology, which will be printed and also available online. It can also be read at the Foyle 2016 link on the Poetry Society UK website.

'An Orison to a Future Comet'

Finn Scarr de Haas van Dorsser

Cataclysms 92 : 1-37

1 When meteor showers are omens

of omniscience in a world where the legacy of Man

is a calculation beyond the capacity

a tower of transistors can provide,

it is funny that our kind would revert to superstition.

2 Perhaps it is another cyclic mandate of the aether.

3 Formerly, the inherited world –

an abundance of algae, aphids, and chloroplasts –

sat in contented silence, watching

her numberless daughters thrive.

4 But one prodigious egg, a Cain of old, will

rot in the nest. 5 Slow, unto a vine, tendrils of

this terrible, toxicant trailblazer

maraud out across a vista of untainted birthright.

6 A step over our horizon then

equated to just one further deg.

of axial obliquity. 7 Now, a clockwork march against

dawn, winding up to one full revolution. 8 Maternal

vices are patience and that kind

of love which is unwilling to look truth in the eye,

even when the pillow is finally

lowered across her warm face.

9 Be warned that it requires more than the wheel,

a horsepower, or a teranewton metre of torque

to shorten Earth’s nights to a

deliberate blink. 10 So, after looking back through

our full circle, it is in this way

that we mark out our Origin.


11 If you’ve lived long enough to

remember sunlight through trees,

visions begin to appear of whole civilisations borne

upon rafts. 12 Rafts barreling down

a rapid that forks every time a new regret boils up.

13 Perhaps it is all down to that dicey enemy, fate,

after all. 14 But, if ever the anterior

parts of this chronicle are recovered,

don’t be convinced that some despotic divinity

played any part in a planet’s final

foray. 15 Instead, look to the advent of inter-cluster

shuttling or the harnessing of stellar nucleosynthesis.

16 Or simply search amongst stars.

17 Draw intricate blueprints once

more than needed, and listen as their sprawling gear

wheels and ratchets slot straight

into the Milky Way. 18 Watch them sing in accordance

with the harmonic charts. 19 Notice the sky become

plated by an ancient pianola roll

bronzed by the genius of these

machines. 20 We learned each of the score’s contours and

raised sparks by heart as it revolved

sweetly behind smog curtains. 21 Invocation always was

the ultimate of human gifts. 22 So, if it recurs in you, the

species to one day translate this

almanac of sorts, use it instead

to print the cosmos in triumphant metal and tissue.

23 Thus, uphold a foundation of

comfort in the earthliness and motherly affection that

kindled our gift. 24 This is the last fork in the rapid.


25 When a few escape capsules

become embers leaping from the fiery cracks, a

sole prayer will be hastily made.

26 Hope these craft won’t break

formation, instead gather into their own shower,

meteorites to a surrogate mother. 27 We promise

to glance back now and again,

to pull back those curtains and expect the glory

to regrow from a false belief

in the Fountain of Youth. 28 Even in diaspora

there is sweetness on the cusp with Pisces, for our

astronomy is already over-

stepping into astrology. 29 It will regress more.

30 A fortiori, non progredi est regredi.

31 So, the legacy of Man is

an imaginary number after all, a cycle of rebirth.

32 The virgin novelty of each

intoxicating invention invacuates us to the curse

of opportunity cost. 33 Of preservation, know that

immortality is an illusion

built upon that which can

be eviscerated. 34 As the globe has been polished

to a tabula rasa finish, so

too may this tome reach its end. 35 Wisdom now

impregnated, all that is

left now is to pick you out

from amongst the contorted face of our galaxy.

36 And through an old lens,

a pathway to immortality

is marked: An embryonic bomb ticks over, held

in a womb of rock and ice.

37 Awake to sow life again

in the only place that ever was home—

the centre of the universe.

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