Winning Poems for School Years 4-5


Autumn Poetry Competition 2018

Winning Poems for School Years 4-5

Winner: Shimon Reuben for ' The Night'.

In the night when there’s only a little bit of light,
From the shining moon, twinkling stars and flashing bright city lights,
I lie in my bed feeling bored, feeling calm,
Hearing sounds that I only hear at this time of night – 
Creaking floorboards, dogs barking, drunk men shouting

In the darkness i see shadows dancing across the ceiling,
And i experiment with my own creations on the walls.
Whilst my parents think I’m fast asleep, I shine my torch
And discover things that only become apparent when I am horizontal – 
The remnants of a mosquito, the holes from a broken hook.

In the night when there’s only a speck of light,
I toss and turn, my eyes start to itch and my nose starts to twitch 
I become very thirsty and my mind ponders over so many questions
I can’t fall asleep – I ask my parents for suggestions
Eventually, I fall into a deep slumber until my room fills with the morning light.

Judges Conchita Triay's comments: 

In this poem we are invited to follow the narrator’s thoughts, as he lies awake in bed picking up on both visual and aural details, while sleep fails to come. The poem is divided into three stanzas and is written in free verse, creating a sense of fluidity in the lines. At the same time, there is occasional use of internal rhyme- “night” and “light” and “bright”- which adds to the poem’s cohesion and lends it musicality. The poem is insightful, “I…discover things that only become apparent when I am horizontal”, and presents an interesting contrast between the activity of the mind- as it darts across the room- and the inactivity of the body. This poem shows sensitivity and maturity both in its content and form.

Runner Up: William Felice for 'Yellow, Yellow'

Yellow, yellow, please don’t cry,
You’re the same colour as a male brimstone butterfly.
Yellow, yellow, please don’t frown,
You’re a close colour to tan, gold and brown,
And also the same colour as the King and Queen’s crown.
Yellow, yellow, try and feel grand,
You’re the same colour as the desert sand.
Yellow, yellow, try and have fun,
You’re the same colour as the very hot sun.
Yellow, yellow, be happy and glow,
You’re the third colour of a rainbow. 
Yellow, yellow, try and be funny,
You’re the same colour as a bee’s honey,
And also the same colour as useful money
Yellow, yellow, don’t be fed up,
You’re the same colour as a buttercup.
Yellow, yellow, lift your head,
You’re a primary colour like blue and red.
Yellow, yellow, don’t say no,
You’re the same colour as C-3PO.
Yellow, yellow please be merry, 
You’re the same colour as a loyal canary.
Yellow, yellow, please don’t start,
You’re the same colour as Lisa, Maggie and Bart.
Yellow, yellow, this is the end,
I’m proud to be your friend.

Judge Conchita Triay's comments:
This poem is an ode to the colour yellow and it is as vibrant and loud as the colour it  addresses. During its twenty-six lines, the writer very effectively sustains the rhyming couplets which infuse the poem with a powerful rhythm. Sometimes meaning can be sacrificed to verse, but not here. All the comparisons the narrator draws on are pertinent and perceptive-“Yellow yellow, lift your head/You’re a primary colour like blue and red.” The poem lists many reasons as to why the colour Yellow should be proud of itself, and exhorts it to be “merry” and “funny” since it shares its colour with much else that is beautiful and good. The poem is original in content and shows great imagination, as well as very good control of language.

Highly Commended: Dylan Parker for ' Mr Negative'

I know a master villain
As quiet as a mouse
He goes by Mr Negative
In everybody’s house.

No one ever sees him
Although he’s always near.
He lurks in one and all of us
He is a force to fear.

But focus on the positives
Seek they’ll be there.
Count on all your blessings
Each and every year.

One thing I can tell you
Is to focus on your themes.
Do not let Mr Negative
Throw away your dreams.

Judge Conchita Triay's comments:
This poem is made up of four quatrains and its alternating rhyme scheme creates a jaunty rhythm throughout. The first two stanzas establish the existence of a Mr Negative “ In everybody’s house”, exerting his malevolent power over all , while the last two exhort the reader to resist this oppressive and destructive presence. In a light, simple way the poem presents us with the archetypal choice between negative and positive that we all confront in life.  What is most striking about this short poem is its control of rhyme and rhythm at the same time as it portrays a theme which we can all identify with.