The Crows

by Angus Cronin Harrison, Brisbane State High School, South Brisbane


It’s there.
It’s always there.
Staring at me like it doesn’t have eyelids.
Its sapphire blue eyes are beautiful,
Yet deceiving.
Its black feathers remind of a shadow,
That follows me everywhere.
It opens its beak and screams,
Like someone in terrible pain.
I run for my life.
Yet it follows.
Yet THEY follow.
I keep running and try to find a way to escape.
But then I am suddenly consumed by the dark swarm of evil.
And once they finish,
The crows will hunt once more.
 


Judge’s Report

Zenobia Frost

This year’s Paul Sherman Award entries showed a great deal of creativity. What struck me was that though the poets’ topics were diverse — tackling war, the environment, family — the poems themselves cleaved to more traditional verse forms. Throughout the entries, we had lots of word-music, rhyme and rhythm. The poems that stood out as winners were the ones who used this music most subtly.

It will be no surprise to hear me say that I read a lot of poetry. It might be stating the obvious, too, to hear that I read some pretty literary fiction. But the books that really, really excited me in childhood happen to be the ones I still reread most today: Harry Potter.

I thought I’d share with you my two favourite pieces of advice JK Rowling gives to young writers: “Read everything you can get your hands on” and “be ruthless about protecting your writing time.” The poems here suggest the start of lots of promising careers in writing. Poets, make sure you each cast Patronuses around your creativity; protect it and foster brave writing by challenging yourself: read fantastic and fantastical books and poems.

Three poems were highly commended this year: “Metaphorical Poem”, which experimented with the power of metaphors to evoke feeling; “Dragon’s Lair”, which constructs a fantastical narrative; and “The Girl Who Made the Rivers Run Red”, a spooky poem with a great rhythm.

This year’s third-place winner was “Four Seasons”, which employed a modified haiku form to chart the changing of seasons throughout a year. This poem uses evocative images to set a gentle pace. In second place — and with a fantastic title — “Singing at 52-Hertz” is an emotive poem combining a conversational tone with experiments in rhyme.

This year’s Paul Sherman Award goes to “The Crows”, a short poem evoking the tense mood of Hitchcock’s The Birds. I loved this poem for the quiet sense of humour in its melodrama; its powerful, creepy imagery — “It’s always there/ staring at me like it doesn’t have eyelids”; and its easy free-verse rhythm.

Thank you and congratulations to all entrants, but especially to this evening’s prize-winners.
 

Upcoming Events

May Masterclass 2021

THE CHALLENGE OF TEACHING ANALYSIS: DO WE NEED TO CHANGE OUR PRACTICES? Teaching the process of analysing texts in order for students to produce a spoken or written response remains amongst the most exciting and difficult challenges we face as a community of English teachers. Most recently, the high-stakes nature of unseen examinations fo...

Category:   Master class
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 15th May 2021
Venue:   University of Queensland
Phone Enquiries:   0455464000
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


JCU Spectacular

Join Dr Claire Hansen for a two-hour session on teaching Macbeth. We'll dive into an exploration of the language of Macbeth and teaching strategies to engage students with Shakespeare's Scottish play.  The workshop will also explore learning activities for Macbeth created by the Shakespeare Reloaded project. This event is ful...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 22nd May 2021
Venue:   ZOOM
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Grammar Day

A grammar workshop will be held at Elanora State High School  on Saturday 29 May 2021 to assist attendees to develop their understandings of grammar in order to fully comprehend and to effectively teach the Australia Curriculum: English (AC:E). Also highly relevant to Years 11 & 12. This will be an updated re-run of the activity ...

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 29th May 2021
Venue:   Elanora State High School
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Voices in the past,Voice in the present

Nicole Broadley and Susan McCosker will present a workshop on Saturday 24 July 2021. The workshop will deal with two texts Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Stranger Things by the Duffer Brothers.  This presentation will be via zoom and will run from 9:00 till 11:00 am. For further information, download the flyer. Registrat...

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 24th July 2021
Venue:   ZOOM
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Teacher event - external assessment

The second series of pre-external examination events will be held for teachers on Saturday 7 August as a face-to-face event and online. Recorded materials will remain available to all participants online until the examination week in October. Date Claimer giving further information is available for download ...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 7th August 2021
Venue:   St Laurence's College
Phone Enquiries:   0455464000


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