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Life Experience

The ten-line poetry competition – My covid poem

For ten years the small town and port of Shoreham-by-Sea, on the south coast of England, just along the coast from Brighton, has had a thriving, popular literary festival. This year (2020) being the tenth anniversary of the festival the organisers decided to run another poetry competition. The requirement this year was for a ten line poem on any subject. Only two poems could be submitted by any one entrant.

I sent in two poems, one of them being First day at uni. It wasn’t a winner. The other poem, which I considered not so good was ”commended”. I thought my poem pointed up a very serious issue.

I read that some universities were going to employ security firms to police and enforce social distancing on students. This seemed to me an outrageous idea.

No to social distancing

Social distancing goes against natural human behaviour. Logically, if adhered to, it would lead to the end of the human race. It must surely be against basic human rights. And there is much more one could say in criticism of it, but for young people the idea that they cannot come near each other strikes me as preposterous.

That’s what led me to write this poem, First day at uni,2020.


First Day at Uni, 2020

I remember that first day.

I saw you

two metres away.

We went for a walk

in the park

two metres apart.

We should have met in another time.

Now we can never get together

but must stay apart

for ever.


David Roberts

June 2020


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David Roberts

Writer, publisher, music promoter

Born in 1942, I now have time to enjoy life more widely and reflect on my experience, interests, and contemporary events.

David Roberts

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