Returning to Poetry

I have been creatively writing for as long as I can remember. One of the ways I used to express myself creatively was by writing poems. I had notebooks filled with poems and even had a poem published. As I grew, I continued writing, but strayed from poetry.

Over a month ago, I saw a sponsored post on my Instagram for a writing Open Call from Tate Collective. Your writing had to be in response to one of the selected portraits by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. I tapped on the post, just curious to see the paintings. Immediately, I felt inspired. My creative juices started flowing as I looked at each painting.

I kept getting drawn to the same one. It was entitled, “No Such Luxury.” Words and the form of a poem were going through my head as I laid in bed. I was still debating if I wanted to put in the effort to send a poem to the Tate. The prize for being chosen was to be able to read your piece at an event and a cash prize.

The words would not stop running through my head until I got out my laptop and started typing. It didn’t take me long to convey my response on this painting. I soon sent it off to the Tate Collective and waited. Not really sure if I would ever hear anything back.

This past Monday, I finally got a response. Though I wasn’t chosen to read my poem at the event, I was informed that I had made it to the final round of judging. I was in the top 30 out of over 500 entrants.

I was amazed.

I had not written poetry since I was in middle school and here I came so close to winning money for my poem. I do not feel in any way disappointed. I did not expect to get such a positive response from a frenzied burst of inspiration.

Being unemployed and waiting on my visa has left me down and bored. I started this blog to keep up my writing during this waiting period in my life. To be reminded about how people enjoy my writing, even in the form of a poem, has been a confidence boost.

Below is my poem and the painting for my response. I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know your thoughts.

xx Hannah

No Such Luxury by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

No Such Luxury

She used to have dreams.

Big dreams.

Those kind of “reach out and feel the sun on your fingertips” type of dreams.

But now she’s here.

Reaching out for something in the bleakness.

Everyday life.

She thinks of the times when she could leave.

Explore the world.

Create her own refuge.

Now she waits.

The marks of motherhood become her jail.

Satisfaction now comes in the form of a drip coffee.

Her calloused hands find comfort in bone china.

She sits.

Blocking out the noise.

For a moment she is here.


But it soon fades.

Stillness is all she wants, dreams.

But there is no such luxury.

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