The winner of a national competition to find the best maritime limerick in celebration of life at sea has been announced by the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society today ahead of World Poetry Day on 21 March.
The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, which provides financial support and advice to retired seafarers in need, launched its inaugural Seafaring Limerick Competition, which was judged by the Bard of Barnsley, the renowned English poet Ian McMillan. Ian, who is poet-in-residence for English National Opera and regular presenter of R3’s The Verb, has strong maritime connections, with his father having served in the Royal Navy.
The competition, which received 120 entries, was won by Maggie Ballinger from Sheffield, who penned this offering:
The swell, and the towering wave,
Cover many a seafarer's grave.
So to land Britain's dish,
(What are chips, without fish?),
A man must be strong, skilled and brave.
I have to agree with the judge, English poet Ian McMillan, on his comments on this winning work: “Maggie’s limerick actually covers a number of emotions which is hard to do in five lines: it rhymes, it’s got rhythm, it’s a proper limerick.” Congratulations to Mrs. Maggie Ballinger from Sheffield -- And a salute to all the "strong, skilled and brave" men and women out there confronting the swells and the towering waves every day!