‘this poem is of a few words but very deep feelings’

Voters loved its beauty, its simplicity and its truth and this is why, from a superb group of shortlisted poems, Mariam Saidan’s ‘Lies’ is the Ink Sweat & Tears Pick of the Month for November 2020.

Mariam is Iranian/British and has worked in the Human Rights field, studied Public International Law in Tehran, Human Rights Law at University of Nottingham, and Creative Writing at Kent University.


From my window
I watch leaves flutter.

Seagulls stamping their feet,
I play with my loneliness.

I write stories,
I tell lies like:
“My heart leaps
at the thought of love.”

Other voters’ responses to the question ‘Why does this get your vote?’ include:

This poem didn’t try to explain itself or its narrator – it simply sits there. But under the unexcited mood, it expresses a great shock, a great loss of hope.

Mariam’s piece is so honest and beautiful. It evokes a sense of familiar sadness which ends with love and hope.

How beautifully simple it is. It gives the sense of place, time, sense, emotion and thoughts, with many interpretations for a poem so short. Beautiful

I loved how playful it is and powerful and how honest it is.

Beautifully written, a stand out.

Heartwarming poem

All the more powerful for its concision.

Tender poem, with nostalgic lucidity. Short but impactful

the poem is poignant and succinct, and well reflects our desire for love and for deep true feeling

Because I can relate to it and I play with my loneliness too

I can relate to this song and like the simplicity

The lies we tell ourselves to get through…so true…

The energy and honesty of the composition.

I walk and the images stay with me

Clarity and potency of the idea.

I’ve known Mariam since our childhood and I always thought that she has a unique and touching way of writing

Mariam encapsulated feelings and truth in so few words! Perfect

Instantly arresting and moving, it encapsulates despair.

The mixture of the everyday and the dream-world overlapping

The poem resonance with the year where the theme of loneliness longing and lies about seeming to be OK seem to be more relevant than ever.

I love the simplicity, and conveys the loneliness feeling to me

I relate to its loneliness

Mariam’s voice is so unique, haunting yet soothing

Her work really touched me, how she describes loneliness, really resonates with the reader

Because it tells a recognisable truth, simply and clearly and poetically, under the title ‘Lies’

I love the simplicity of this poem and the sardonic twist at the end.