Poetry by two Kinross Wolaroi School year 9 students has been shortlisted in a competition that had entries come from across Australia and New Zealand.
Maddie Hook’s poem Mahogany Bones and Turning Point by Lila Pearce were among 79 poems to be shortlisted in the Red Room Poetry competition, Poetry Object, out of 2526 submissions.
“It had to be something that’s special to us and books are some of the most special things in my life,” Lila said about her poem, which was about her love of books and reading.
“Mine doesn’t have any capitals in it because it’s just someone’s thoughts and not someone speaking.”
She said Turning Point was one of three poems she entered into the competition and she was surprised it was shortlisted.
VIDEO: Maddie Hook reading Mahogany Bones …
Although Maddie’s poem appeared to be a tribute to a departed grandfather and their shared love of playing the piano she said the Mahogany Bones poem was about a character she had created.
“It’s not actually about me, my grandfather is alive and well, I was just playing the piano one time and the idea just popped into my head and I wrote it down,” Maddie said.
“My style, it’s like slam poetry, it’s meant to be read aloud, it’s got a rhythm and a beat.”
The girl’s English teacher and head of teaching and learning Serena Lewis said although her students weren’t excited about learning poetry, they surprised themselves and the resulting poems of many of the students were impressive.
VIDEO: Lila Pearce reads Turning Point ...
“The thought of studying and writing poetry often fills many kids with dread but the study of contemporary poetry, including slam poetry, revealed to the students the power of words,” she said.”
The winning poems will be announced on December 6, along with prizes, they will be included in an animated short to be screened in cinemas across Australia.
BY THE BOOK ….
Turning Point, by Lila Pearce
a simple pile
of paper and ink
unassuming at first,
'mediocre', you think.
You’re wrong. This saga
of courage and strife
will first change your mind
and then your whole life
eight days in
you’ve finished the book
you’re a bird to the sky
a fish on a hook
and you can’t know it yet
but this is the start
of a sparkling new era
your young life’s best part
six years in
you’re smarter and sadder
the work’s a bit harder
the world’s a bit badder
but you still have your memories
through trouble and strife
when a book changed your mind
and then saved your life.
and you’re now stepping out
to a bright new day
you’ll change the world once
you know the right way
books were your refuge
your reason to live
they gave you so much
now it’s your turn to give.
Mahogany Bones, by Maddie Hook
When the piano-maker crafted my grandfather
Gently bending his mahogany bones
He was not constructing, he was creating
Bringing him to life,
He gave to me a guardian
With a life most complicated
Whose love never outdated
But who now lies in the ground ill-fated.
When I was young, I’d dance upon his golden feet.
Neat, petite, my path to the afterlife.
They sat there, quaint, to prolong the sound
Of the piano, but could not prolong his life.
My grandfather’s laugh roars and groans,
Rattling his mahogany bones
And the tones of his voice echo as he sings,
The sounds flowing grandly through his strings.
Mother pats my head and smiles and says, 'My dear, Pa’s dead, you see.'
But as I close my eyes, hold his ivory hands, the music shapes his face
And I face the fact that though he’s gone, she’s wrong
He’s still here with me.
The notes he sings, changing in modulation
A complication of detailed intonations and different tongues
For the songs of others whose remain unsung.
My grandfather’s laugh roars and groans
Rattling his mahogany bones
And the tones that he sings makes the music truly sting
I know now, he soars with new wings.
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