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

Short Stories and Poetry

The transformation of text is demanding and difficult, but it is also often a thing of beauty. General English Unit three requires students to transform a poem into a short story, which requires us to guide them through this process. Using poems as stimulus for short story is inspiring and energising and this workshop will offer practical a...

Category: Zoom meeting
Start Time: 9:00 AM
Date: Saturday 12th February 2022
Venue: ZOOM
Email Enquiries:  adminofficer@etaq.org.au


March Masterclass 2022

We are delighted to announce our first event for 2022 will be the March Masterclass: Writing: Our future  to be held on Saturday 12 March 2022 at Iona College, Lindum, when Dr Sally Humphrey, senior lecturer (Literacy Education) ACU will present the keynote address. The program will be available by 28 January and registrations will open ...

Category: Master class
Start Time: 8:30 AM
Date: Saturday 12th March 2022
Venue: Iona College


May Seminar 2022

The May seminar Writing our future ... will respond to developments in the text list, National Curriculum and NAPLAN. Keynotes will be presented by Lisa Bottomly and Sophie Johnson, from QCAA with supporting workshops on the new additions to the text list.

Category: Seminar
Start Time: 9:00 AM
Date: Saturday 14th May 2022
Venue: To be confirmed


JCU Spectacular 2022

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 activites for Macbeth created by the Shakespeare Reloaded project. For further details, see the...

Category: Seminar
Start Time: 9:00 AM
Date: Saturday 28th May 2022
Venue: ZOOM


Indigenous Perspectives in the Junior Curriculuk

After a work program review Town High explored ways to better embed indigenous perspectives in the year 7 program through a novella study of Black Cockatoo.  The unit became our first taste of analytical essay writing in year 7, in preparation for subsequent years.  We found greater engagement from students across the board. ...

Category: Seminar
Start Time: 9:00 AM
Date: Saturday 16th July 2022
Venue: Town High, Townsville


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