...and the winners are...

June 7, 2010

The prize giving ceremony for this year's poetry competition for schools was held last Thursday at the Keats-Shelley House. Julia Golding, british children's author, presented the prizes. The quality of entries was extremely high and we would like to congratulate all those who participated.

Here are the winning poems written in English:

5-9 years

First prize

Sophie Potin
age 7
Castelli International School

The Magic Box

In the box I will put

A xylophone going to have an x-ray
And a zebra with zero stripes in a zoo
And a yellow yo-yo dancing yesterday

In the box I will put

A statue running
And a purple lake
And a surfing dog

My box is made with crystals and diamonds
And fire on the top
And blue lightening in the corners

I shall fly in my box
And drink silly water
And arrive on a beach

Second Prize

Sophie De Oliveira
age 9
Britannia International School

The Magic Box

While visiting an old castle in France,
I found this old box in a corner.
It was big enough for me to fit inside,
But when I stepped inside it,
I shrank to the size of a mouse.
The box took me to another world,
Where everything was bigger than me.
Animals could talk,
And the plants had eyes to see!
There were things I had never seen before,
Like a house that could walk.
At one point I saw a giant rabbit,
He took me to the box.
And do you know where it took me?
It took me straight back home!

10-13 years

First prize

Caterina Piccolomini
age 12
St George’s British International School

Dear Oxygen

I wonder if the sun will rise even without you by my side,
If someday I’ll be able to see you,
If ever I will feel you.
But there’s that fear,
That fear of loss,
Every time I think about it,
I feel cold fingers curl themselves around my heart,
Trying to take you away,
Trying to kill me,
You’re my other half,
You are now part of me.
You make my story,
I don’t need much to make one,
I don’t have much,
But I have you.
I know that someday you’ll leave me,
Join another body,
Another life.
So tell me,
At least for now,
Will you continue being…
My Hero?

Second Prize

Alessandra Garber
age 11
Ambrit-Rome International School

Time Travel

I sit in my rocket preparing for flight,
trying to prepare my mind for a terrible fright.
I know this trip must not be fun,
the driver counts down three, two, one…

I get thrown to the back.
Everything I see is black.
The pressure makes my brain spin,
I feel dizzy and blood streaming up my skin.

Seeing the worm-hole makes me gasp!
The driver’s voice is a rasp.
As my rocket quickly dives,
I wonder what would happen to people’s lives.

The rocket starts rotating fast.
Will I come out in the future or in the past?
The rocket is getting too hot and starts shaking,
Will this be my death or my waking?

14-18 years

First prize

Bhavana Gupta
age 16
St Stephen’s School


You say you like the prickly
feeling, around on your tongue,
after tasting a kiwi, the involuntary
shudder reflected in the oval silver of the spoon.
The pungent smell prickles your nose
awakening your senses, and
releasing a sea in your mouth.
Stretched out in the afternoon sun,
you delight in picking up a
green bulk, full of seeds
with no future.
You dig into it, curving around
with your spoon to get to the core.
That is what you do,
curve around,
to get to the core.
But curving around doesn’t always
obtain what you desire,
may that be the covering or the core.

Joint Second prize

Kezi Cheng
age 16
The Bronx High School of Science

How Spring Sang Me Her Song

Among the shots of Maplewood trees,
plum red from the wet tempers of spring,
a cream-skinned girl echoing in the woods
with a voice like molasses,
sticky through the air,
shuffles the plump curls of leaves
Her song found its chorus
beneath the overcast sky,
heavy with the weight of gray rain clouds,
tugs on the nest of feathered cuckoos,
hungry for the first drops of spring,
for kisses from a honeysuckle song.

Joint Second Prize

Lauren Javaly
age 16
The Bronx High School of Science

You are not welcome here

No on wants an Echo, really.
At least, no one deliberately asks for one.
No on wants to hear everything they’ve said
regurgitated (as it is diminished, hazy and a little delayed),
carried indefinitely by the wind,
and always certain to float lazily back at the worst possible times,
tell it as you might:
you are not welcome here.

Reader, I implore you to envision a life without Echoes!
It’d be easier, for one thing,
not to be haunted by a melancholy recitation
of all you’d wish couldn’t be repeated, repeated verbatim,
singing and resonating
of all you’ve done,
everywhere you’ve been,
the more shameful recollections,
the very ones that make you cringe and abruptly end your otherwise serene reverie.
They chant mockingly:
you are not welcome here!

These Echoes, you see, reader, take their nature from their more literal brethren:
echoes of a cave, or an empty room,
the very kind you can find in any deserted place,
the very kind that scold you ominously,
the very kind that envelop you eerily,
as if to tell you what you had already vaguely guessed:
you are not welcome here,
and your very presence is a desecration of timid silence!

In much the same way, Echoes are a reminder:
be circumspect, and traipse not so carelessly!
Live as though for everything you do you are compensated in full,
and always, always, always, there is a reverberation,
a recalcitrant whisper, escaped from all that you’ve desperately tried to hide:
an Echo.

Prize winning poems in Italian are:

5-9 years

First prize

Celeste Rosi
age 8
Britannia International School

L’era glaciale

Ho fatto un sogno molto speciale
mi sono trovata nell’era glaciale.
Pinguini, foche e orsi polari
facevan la fila per un paio d’occhiali.

Erano occhiali particolari
facevan vedere tutti i contrari.
La neve era verde colore del prato,
il cielo era azzurro strato su strato.

I pinguini eran gazzelle, le foche eran leoni,
gli orsi polari eran tanto più buoni
la nube era il sole più caldo che mai,
che bello quel sogno che ho già fatto ormai.

Second Prize

Veronica Marcone
age 8
Britannia International School

Scrigno Magico

C’era una volta un gran pirata,
trovò nello scrigno una bella fata.
Ha navigato nei sette mari
E trova anche due grandi fari.
Trovò sulla terra il cibo da mangiare
e la fata a pescare.
La fata gli concede tre desideri
e il pirata disse: “vorrei una moglie di nome Mary”.

10-13 years

First prize

Mariù De Lucia
age 11
Istituto Comprensivo Giovanni Falcone


Davanti alla casa di mia zia Rosalia,
nella foresta della Florida centrale
dove prima di Colombo
cacciavano gli indiani Seminole,
regna una quercia grandiosa.
una quercia che ha protetto gli indiani
tra i suoi foltissimi rami
come una madre protegge i propri figli.
Una Quercia che ha respinto gli invasori spagnoli
tra mille frecce scagliate
contro il suo tronco maestoso.
“Oh quercia! Oh quercia!
Grattacielo di legno
eroe intrepido
di età antiche ed età moderne.”
Una quercia regna e regnerà ancora
nella foresta della Florida centrale
davanti alla casa di mia zia Rosalia.

Second Prize

Alex Gavriloae
age 14
S. M. S Paolo Stefanelli

Il tuo viaggio
(a John Keats)

Una vita scordata
In un viaggio senza fine
Un viaggio tra lunghe agonie
Il tuo viaggio, una vita come
Un lungo addio
Il tuo viaggio senza orizzonte

14-18 years

First prize

Tiziano Imparato
age 18
Liceo Scientifico Isacco Newton

Potrei Cercare Un Vostro Sorriso?
ai miei compagni

Il bisogno di vedere centinaia di occhi
che mi vedono come uomo, ma io un uomo non sembro.
Uomo vorrei sembrare, ma uomo non mi vedi.
Il bisogno mi oscura
il buio mi viola il cuore.
Vedi il mio lamento uscire,
trapassare le mie illusioni.
Il mondo ruota più in movimento
di quanto io potrei vedere.
Violenti uomini mi liberano,
violano i bui, le catene;
l’illusione del mio libero corpo
mi lega mani e piedi
obbligati a disubbidire.
Obbligato a vedere
la bellezza che il mondo mi vieta.
Troppi pensieri prendono posto in me,
non conosco i sentimenti per fermarli.
Libere risate di liberi amici,
unica porta per ospitare serenità dal mio corpo.

Second prize

Umberto Luca Avvisati
age 17
Liceo Scientifico Leon Battista Alberti


I lampi intorno a me
Distruggono il nero cielo
In lontananza l’eco
Di battaglia si sparge nelle notte
Il pianto di un bambino, il latrato
Di un uomo affliggono il mio cuore