Purbeck School Poetry Prize

We have been very privileged here at The Purbeck School to have received a wealth of quality entries for this year’s annual Poetry Prize. Inspired by National Poetry Day, the students composed imaginative and engaging pieces of writing presenting their own interpretations on the theme of vision.

After reading and subjecting the entries to discourse, the judges have finally reached a decision. This year’s judges were Miss Cattano, Mr Tullett and Mr Basford. The English department would like to thank the students for their fantastic efforts and of course the judges for their hard work in reaching an agreed conclusion.

First prize, then, is awarded to Lara McCarthy for her incredible poem of experience: ‘I walk the streets of London’. The judges were particularly impressed with Lara’s Blakean epic. Lara presents a contemporary portrayal of the suffering and beauty in the everyday urban sphere. Well done Lara, thoroughly deserved!

Second prize goes to Beth Rod for her poem of social protest ‘My World’. Beth voices an angry vision outlining the need for social change in a world plagued by corruption, poverty, and global warming. Congratulations, Beth!

Third prize is awarded to Josh Hislop for his imaginative poem ‘Vision’. Josh takes us on a narrative journey in which he uses form effectively to take his readers to a ‘magical lake’. A really great piece of writing, well done Josh!

The judges would also like to mention the poets that made the final shortlist: Kieran Barton, Annabelle Tubbs, Bartsoz Olszewski, Bradley Bulpitt, Matilda George, Aidan Halkerston, Faith Welch  and Theo Burrows.

A huge thank you to all the students who entered their poems and we very much look forward to next year’s entries.

I walk the streets of London (Vision) by Lara McCarthy

I walk the streets of London,
Staring carefully at passersby,
The rain is falling quick,
And I see a man’s shoulders sag,
As he leans upon a dirty wall,
And begins to cry.

I stop and think,
And take a sigh,
Has he just witnessed someone die?
Or is he just overwhelmed by the bustling of the world,
And how he doesn’t have the time
To watch the same bird,
Each and every night,
Climb upon his chimney top,
And give a happy cry?
Is it because he doesn’t have the time
To take a walk in the woods,
The autumnal leaves falling beneath foot,
And watch the sun glimmer through the emerald trees?
He cries,
And cries,
And cries.

I walk the streets of London,
Staring carefully at passersby,
The auburn leaves are falling quick,
And I see an old lady,
Carrying her life in two plastic bags,
She slowly lowers herself – with aid of a stick,
On to her thin mattress,
And takes a whiff
Of her newly lighted cigarette,
And slowly shakes her head,
She curls up into a small ball,
And brings her threadbare blanket
Up to her quivering shoulders.
This woman has a second glance
At the cigarette in her yellowed hands,
And observes the man across the street.
She glares at the cigarette,
Regretfully bringing it up to her chapped lips
And sighs a great sigh of relief
As she takes a puff.
And I observe her wrinkly eyelids,
Slowly close as she drifts off to sleep.
Afterwards I wonder
Where those weary eyes have been,
And what they’ve seen.

I walk the streets of London,
Staring carefully at passersby,
The clouds are forming quick,
Smothering the sky,
I stare mindlessly at the
People dressed in mostly foreboding black and grey,
And think,
All they do is hustle and bustle,
And bustle and hustle,
All because they can’t be late,
“It’s a very important job,”
“I want the promotion”.
So, they never get to observe the wonders of the world.
And do you know what the saddest part is?
None of these people will barely even get the time and chance
To admire how blue the sky is today,
Or how the same bird,
Sings the same song,
On the same chimney,
At the same time of night,
Every night?
They may never be able to
Adore and take the time to see
How beautiful the sun glimmers
All through the trees.
And at that my eyes well up,
A tear drips on to my cheek,
And I cry,
And cry,
And cry.

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