Poetry Competition 2020 – Winners of School Years 7-10 Category


Winner of School Years 7-10 Category
Who am I?
by Martha Taylor

Everyday, I wake up in a new body,
It has been like this for as long as I remember.
I’m not really sure who I even am anymore,
But I keep going, for better or for worse.
Who am i? Is a question I ask myself as I look in the mirror.
I do not rememberthis body,
Today I felt as if I stood the tallest in a crowd,
I feel as if I am on top of the world and no one will be able to bring me down.
I like this body. Will I like it tomorrow?
Today, as I ask myself, who are you?
I think about pulling my skin,
I think about morphingthis face away,
Sculpting my features like clay,
Giving myse If the pe rfect face,
I cant help butwonder, eventhen, would I be happy.
Who am I today?
Today I feel perfect.
I am unstoppable .
Not even my own thoughts can bring me down from this high.
Once again, I feelthe tallest,
I wonderwhat it would be like if I was the tallest all the time .
Today I feel small,
I am a mouse, scurry ing out of the way of the worlds big shoes,
I feel as if I could disappear and no one would notice.
I feel alone, but I am used to this.
I am not lonely. I am alone, but I am not lonely.
Who are you today? I grin widely at my reflection .
Today I feel alive.
Every little thing makes my skin prickle.
Today I am the crescendo in a piece of classical music.
Today, I am happy i’m here.
How am I today? Is a pleasant change of question.
I think, as I stare at my hands.
I feel as if I have been alive since the worlds creation.
My feet have walked this earth a thousand times.
My knowledge is overbearing.
I am Atlas.
I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.
I always think i’ll get used to it,
These fee lings that always change,
The feelings that can morph into a hurricane of rage, sadness and fear in seconds.
At times like this, I marvel at the duality of man.
I do notthink this world was meantforfragile people.
Some days, though, I am not fragile.
Some days I feel as if I could sit happily and watch the world burn.
And some days I feel as If even a small breeze could blow me away.

Judge Charlie Durante’s Comments:

“This long poem defies the modernist requirement that poems should be short and concise. However, its length is in keeping with its content: the speaker is haunted by a sense of the ever-changing nature of the self. The poem is held together by the frequent interrogation: who am I? This is buttressed by the insistent rhythm of ‘today I feel….’ The person undergoes constant change-there are mood swings, feelings of superiority, of inadequacy, of responsibility, ‘I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders’ like a latter-day Atlas. Some of the images reflect an overpowering sense of hubris, ‘today I am a crescendo in a piece of classical music.’ Then the ego is deflated as it becomes as timid as a mouse, avoiding, in a striking image, ‘the world’s big shoes.’ The poem is evidently the expression of the flux of the modern personality-a Heraclitean fluidity, ‘unstoppable’, moulding itself to different circumstances. The traditional classifications no longer apply: we are, by turns, introvert, extrovert; sociable, solitary. The paramount question ‘who am I?’ is ultimately unanswerable. We are everything and nothing. That is why we cling to more stable values like God, poetry, love, beauty, family. A very mature poem indeed.”

Runner-Up of School Years 7-10 Category
My Sepcial Casse
by Siddharth Lakhiani
Had a Doctor vizit toDay
They said im dyslexics, that I weil always be
And dats ok. Maybe gery flish is more apeling to me than grey fish
Maybe finking difrently is the nem way ofhappyness
Had a Doctor vizite toDay
They said dat is y I ca’ nt read like the other kids
Or ca’ nt rite as well as the other kids
An d dats ok. Maybe I like seing the world and not just rid about it
Had a Doctor vizite toDay
They said that it is not a mater of inteligense, that im no less smart
That my life will be just a little difrent
And dat my worbs will be confuzing from time to time
And mafs will be bifficult to undastand
And dats ok. maybe I like the word lat instead of Cat
And maybe the simbols that I see are the ones that Albert Einsein sau
Had a Doctor vizite toDay
And dey said I will never be nomal,
But what iz nomal?
Becuz 2 me, I am nomal
But wif a supapowa that only cool people has
Had a doctor vizite toDay
And dey said I will neva see like the oda kids
But I am difrent, a supahero!
And dats mor dan ok. Because the alfabet is so much more deutiful to me
Had a doctor vizite toDay
Dey sed peploe woudl be mean
taht i wil be med fun off
but tahts okie
becsaue i lob everyobne

Judge Charlie Durante’s Comments:

“The original conceit of this marvellous poem is to convey the special way a dyslexic processes language and consequently the world. Whereas in less enlightened times, the dyslexic was branded a poor speller, a clumsy handler of language, and of little intelligence, we are now fully aware that this quirk of the brain in no way impedes the development of the cognitive faculties. In fact, dyslexics can have a creative, innovative and rewarding ‘take’ on the world. The visit to the doctor reveals different aspects of the dyslexic’s life. He might have a more direct perception of the world and not ‘just rid about it.’ His picture of the world does not have to conform to the conventional ways most people apprehend reality. His words and numbers might even have the neatness and complexity of an Einstein equation. The visits are rounded off with the happy acceptance of the situation: ‘And dats OK.’ Reading the poem shows the rich mental and emotional life of a dyslexic person. Sidddarth has to be congratulated for the extraordinary empathy the lines convey.”

Highly Commended
by Louis Pitto

If the Earth had a mouth
What would she say?
Would she cough and splutter,
Choking on dark dirty air?
If the Earth had eyes
What would they see?
Would she shed heavy tears
For seas saturated with waste?
If the Earth had a body
What would she feel?
Would she wince in pain
As fires raze her forests to the ground?
Do we have ears?
To hear her cry?
Do we have eyes
To see her suffering?
Do we have a heart
To feel her pain?
Do we have hands
To make a difference?

Judge Charlie Durante’s Comments:
“What is particularly appealing about this poem is its carefully balanced contrast between the earth, its mouth, eyes, body and our ears, eyes and heart. The earth is personified, a sick being coughing and spluttering, racked with pain and crying disconsolately. This picture of our planet being ravaged by our predations is powerfully conveyed. The major question posed is: do we have the necessary sensitivity to respond generously to this cry for help? The whole ecosystem is economically depicted: the heavily polluted atmosphere, the seas choked with plastic and effluvia, the burning fires devastating whole swathes of forest. Louis has shown a rare awareness of our present predicament. We must not let our battle against the coronavirus become an excuse to forget mother Earth. A very timely poem indeed.”