Merton Student Wins Newdigate Prize

A Merton Classics student, Daisy Syme-Taylor, has been awarded this year's Newdigate Prize for Poetry. She joins an illustrious group of previous winners, include John Ruskin, Matthew Arnold, Oscar Wilde, Alan Hollinghurst and Andrew Motion.

The Newdigate Prize, established in 1803 by Sir Roger Newdigate, is awarded for the best composition in English verse not exceeding 300 lines. This year's theme was 'The Higgs Boson', and candidates were required to use the meter and rhyme scheme of Donne's The Litanie.

Ms Syme-Taylor's poem is entitled Edgelands, and she explains how she approached writing it:

"I thought it would be more interesting to write about one person's response to the idea of the Higgs Boson, rather than trying to write about the science itself. So, the poem partly tells of the ways in which a familiar landscape is completely transformed in the eyes of someone who, reading a newspaper, by chance learns of the Higgs Boson, and also of how he tries to reconcile himself with this new way of seeing the world around him."