This month, The Guardian's poetry workshop is all about the elegy.
Most months of the year, The Guardian asks a prominent poet to set an exercise, and choose the most interesting responses from readers with an appraisal of the poems.
The January 2009 poet is David Constantine, an award-winning poet and translator.
"His collections include the award-winning Watching for Dolphins, The Pelt of Wasps and Something for the Ghosts; Bloodaxe published his Collected Poems in 2004, and he has been shortlisted for both the Whitbread and Forward poetry prizes. He has translated the work of, among others, Hölderlin, Brecht, Goethe, and Michaux, and was awarded the Corneliu M Popescu prize for European poetry in translation in 2003. His latest collection, Nine Fathom Deep, comes out this month [January 2009]". (The Guardian, 21 January 2009.)