KEATS-SHELLEY POETRY PRIZE 2012 - WINNERS (ENGLISH POEMS)
Swimming in the dark
Comes a big bad shark
But don’t have fear
If his teeth are sharper than a spear
Wild and fierce
He’ll gobble you from up to down
In the sea until you drown
He can’t bark because he’s a shark
But he can roar and make a war.
Tomas Prokipcak, aged 9
The New School, Rome
A panther is a predator, it’s ferocious and terrible
It has gleaning eyes, and it’s powerful
In the night all you can see is the reflection of its yellow greenish eyes
This careful high advantage has the element of surprise
and has sharp teeth
Sneak attacks from behind
A complex wonderful feline by design
A panther runs fast
and sometime (for us) it’s no last
I would be scared if I saw a panther in the night
I’ll be full of fright
Fortunately it will happen only in my imagination
and the perfect killing machine is just an emotion
Pierpaolo D’Amici, aged 8
St Francis’ International School, Rome
I see ruins
I see ruins, in this lonely world
I see ruins, in this ancient world
The dust swirling in between the creeps of the rocks,
The tiny insects, their frail legs, crawling, slowly on the yellow sand.
The sun rushing to the end of the day,
With its magical rays, through the enchanting walls, which are here to stay.
Forever and after, surrounded by nothing, it will keep our promises, it will keep our dreams.
Although in the gaps of our bitter life, when we will laugh, when we will cry,
we will always remember, those magical ruins, surrounded by nothing, in this ancient world.
I see ruins, in this lonely world.
Silvio Leonardo Muccino, aged 12
The New School, Rome
Over the rainbow-who we really are
We are sitting in front of the desk, listening to classical music
“Classical music, what’s this rubbish?”
You will always be judged if you are out of the ordinary!
We don’t adapt to the crowd.
But why should choosing to be different weigh on our shoulders?
Here on Earth, we men are puppets in the hands of fate, attached threads, unarmed, defenceless, we tie our personality to a clichéd figure
And every day we play the part that we are assigned.
That is our choice, that is what we have decided.
Two eyes, my eyes, looking at this confusion of masks, think: “My God is it really all that complicated?”
And not even Beethoven, whose music is background to our thoughts, is able to give us an answer.
So, those eyes, the same eyes that watch this tide of liar diplomacy, turn to the sky, and, with a childish smile, catch sight of the rainbow.
And ask: “Man’s personality, what have they themselves taken and thrown in the fire?”
Where is it?
And the sky answers: “Over the rainbow”
Only over the rainbow, men will know how to be who they really are.
But if we men don’t have the courage to be who we really are, how can we find the strength to solve the problems of humanity?
How can we destroy racism, wars, homophobia, conflict, if our biggest ambition is to be tied to a stereotype?
Meanwhile, Beethoven continues to play, we continue to write, and the room observes our body bent over the paper, intent on finishing this thought that tastes like rain.
Indeed, it is the rain that allows the rainbow to be born.
And, despite everything, in everybody’s eyes,
The colours of the rainbow shine on, intensely.
Declan Coughlin e Chiara Cecere, aged 13 and 13
Scuola A. Rosmini, Roma
The Cacophony of Nirvana
The lump in the back of her throat
Prods and pulls at her voice
Like a sunfish caught under a current
She knows not what it is
She stammers before silence
Beauty is evaded with artifice
Liveliness is replaced with fear
The insidious lump manifests
The insidious lump invades
Her life sinks out of reach.
The waif of a girl
Ghostly in appearance
Ghostly in spirit
Flings the scant hair off her head
Defiant of what comes to her
Defiant of what God gives
She spends days in fear
Chemical pulses ringing through her body
Chemical pulses singeing her senses
She lapses into oblivion.
The spirit holds dominion over the body
What is felt is not accepted
What is seen eats her away
The will prevails through tribulation
Her flawed beauty rouses the ego
Drained of color, the skin blooms
Drained of life, the soul sings
To reclaim that which fear spirited away.
Thin wisps of hair restore life
She opens the door and sees the spirit left behind
The chemical pulses retreat as they came
Heartbeats replace plastic unease
Sunlight usurps frenzied vibrations
The lump roots in her form
The lump feeds her soul
Her jovial voice chirps
And the sun melts into white abyss.
Noah Morrison, aged 16
The Bronx High School of Science, New York City
As the dawn crept up the sky, shining on the horizon line,
Hermaphroditus found himself within a glade he’d not beheld before.
Guided by the sun, he caught sight of a shimmering spring,
But trying to quench his thirst, he disturbed the waters
And the naiad Salmacis has been stirred from her sleep.
He turned and saw her, in a cloak of mist alone,
While her fading voice said they should be joined as one.
A brightening light bringing an unearthly calm descended from the sky,
And then their flesh and bones were strangely merged.
A new creature was born which crawled into the spring
And everyone who touches the spring may share this fate.
This mythical destiny is given to us and like when
The lizard has shed its tail, it will be reborn
Or the Arabian phoenix will revive from its ashes,
The watcher of the skies originates once again our form
From the continuous flow of life in the ocean of being.
Sebastiano Valà, aged 18
Polo Liceale Statale Saffo, Roseto degli Abruzzi (TE)
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