Volunteering to judge a poetry contest is simultaneously one of the best and the worst jobs I could have asked for. The best, because it is exciting to read so many wonderful entries from so many talented poets! The worst because, well, although we really want to encourage everyone, we finally had to select winners. We had over fifty entries altogether! The poems we were privileged to read ranged from amusing to thought-provoking to heartbreaking. Some were sent with illustrations. Each is uniquely beautiful.
So, get on with it, who won?!
The preschool winner was almost decided by a coin toss. We had some great descriptions of shapes and color in the world God made through the eyes of 4-6 year-olds. It finally came down to two: “The Mysterious Shape” by Cara P. and “BLUE” by Lydia S. And the winner?
“The Mysterious Shape” by Cara P., age 5
I know a shape, I got it stuck in my head.
A few things could get it stuck in yours too.
When two of them meet they Dosey Doe around the corner.
Or jump on a bride’s finger at a wedding.
If one is in your closet, she will hold your dresses.
A final hint: rhombus. two of them make just one!
Such a complex description of something so simple as…have you guessed it yet?
The elementary category had some real gems as a whole. Again it was very close, with noteworthy contributions for “What Is a Poem?” by Faith, “Out In the Field” by Malley, and “The Flawless Flower” by Anna Lise. Eventually we decided on…
“The Ruckus” by Ian, age 11
Tiger our cat is waiting by the door, waiting patiently,
For someone to open it and carelessly
Leave it open so he can slither in.
Then he hears footsteps coming,
They were coming,
Now, they are running!
The door opens, and before it can close,
He runs up the stairs,
Till, four little heads
Look under the bed.
All this effort was for naught;
All he gets is a smack on the head,
A flick on the nose,
And a toss outside.
And he’s waiting by the door again,
For someone to open it and carelessly leave it open,
So he can slither in.
This one just made me smile and is such a simple, well-told tale, surely familiar in the home of anyone who has a cat. The words were few, active, visual and perfectly descriptive.
A special thanks to the Madison Academy 7th and 8th grade girls’ Bible class taught by Christie McKee. If we were giving a prize for most submissions, it would certainly be theirs, with over thirty entries on the fruits of the Spirit! Thanks to each of you for sharing your hearts and applying what you have learned.
In the teen category, we had many outstanding entries showing great talent. “The Battle” by James B., “Herald of Light” by Allie T., “We Are In Life” by Anne and “Blank Page” by Mimi were all favored. Our winner is…Emily for her “stoem” (short story/poem) titled
“Four Words” shows remarkable talent, weaving biblical imagery with personal experience and ascending to a climax of worship in response to divine Love. The first half is written in paragraphs, so it feels weighty until the lines break into poetry as the writer finds her freedom, and the beauty of sparse, careful lines lightens our spirits with hers. You have to read it in her original format to appreciate her work.
Thank you to all who participated, and congratulations to our winners! We will contact you by email to find out where we should send your prizes. This has been so much fun…maybe we should start planning for next year?