Today is National Poetry Day, I wonder how you’ve been celebrating. Perhaps you’ve dipped into a long-forgotten poetry volume to rediscover some classics, maybe you’re attending a spoken word slam event, maybe you’re jotting down a few lines of iambic pentameter… Do let us know on Twitter and Facebook, we love to hear from you. In 2014 we introduced more poetry events to the festival. We thought it really important to reach out further into this area of literature, particularly as Felixstowe now hosts the thriving Cafe Poets group each month. We also had a young people’s poetry competition and what better way for us to celebrate National Poetry Day than to share our winning entries with you. The theme they were given was ‘Conflict’ and I’m sure you’ll agree that we have some sparkling young poets in our midst!
Rachel Hopley (aged 14) won our older age (13-18) category:
The Conflict Between Life and Death
Cold nostalgia chills me to the bone,
As I curl up in a ball, corrupted by my beast,
Death tended to ignore us,
But when he came, he had a feast.
Unsure of what kind of monstrosity I have become,
I shiver, torn apart with fear,
Come with me and I will take you back to a painful place,
A painful place that brought me here.
Way into the starry night,
Where the moon glimmers and stars shine bright,
A small child is silently crying,
As she relentlessly watches her mother dying.
Death was near.
The little child leans over to where her mother is laying,
Looks up at the heavens and starts praying,
She whispers each word into her mother’s ear,
As if trying to make her illness disappear.
Death was near.
She cannot afford to waste her breath,
As her mother stumbles closer to death,
Her prayers are never answered, never granted,
Suddenly this forlorn creature sees her mother fall, distorted, slanted.
Death was here.
I am now a shell of that little girl,
Haunted by my mother’s last breath,
It is an everlasting battle,
This conflict between Life and Death.
This conflict to want to live,
But Death swooping you up in his long, thin arms,
This conflict to want to grow old with others,
But inevitably, you fall victim to one of Deaths charms.
Alfie Davies (aged 11) won the younger age (7-12) category:
A war of two thoughts
A clash of two ways
A fight of differences
One safe place
The only location
Is empty space
A vacuum safe from conflict
No arguments here no verbal mace
Once it’s all over I go back home
Home with a smile masking my face
But until then I stay up here
Here in the darkness of empty space
Brilliant aren’t they? Maybe you now feel inspired to have a go yourself. The theme of this year’s National Poetry Day is ‘Remember’. Let those creative juices flow!