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

Early Career Conference 2021

The Early Career Conference  in 2021 will be held on 23 October at Wynnum State High School, WYNNUM. The program has been updated to reflect a change in workshop offerings in workshop sessions 2 and 5. Registrations are now open until Saturday 16 October. As networking is an integral part of this day, it is envisaged that it will...

Category: Seminar
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Essential English: Community of Practice 2021

Following on from the success of last year's event for teachers of Essential English, we will be running this event again this year with some modifications. The program is available and registrations are now open. Venue: Deception Bay SHS, Phillip Street, DECEPTION BAY. Registrations will close on Saturday 30 October. Interes...

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Grammar PD term 4

To assist attendees to develop their understandings of grammar in order to fully comprehend and to effectively teach the Australia Curriculum: English (AC:E), a further session will be held on Saturday 20 November at John Paul College.  The flyer gives further details.  Registration will close on 14 November.  ...

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