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

An Afternoon with Christine Hills

The Darling Downs Branch will present an Afternoon with Christine Hills and the Collins Writing Program on Wednesday, 26 February, 2020. Afternoon tea will be served from 3:15 to 3:45 pm. This workshop will allow teachers and school leaders an opportunity to: Explore elements of grammar that are central to good writing and align w...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   3:15 PM
Date:   Wednesday 26th February 2020
Venue:   St Ursula's - Toowoomba
Email Enquiries:   trish.purcell@bigpond.com


March Seminar 2020: Diving Deep into Story

Literature is the lifeblood of the English classroom and we all endeavour to make our classrooms creative spaces, helping students to experience the pleasures of responding to and creating literature. This seminar will explore diverse ideas related to creativity in English. The keynote address What is now proved was once only imagined&nbs...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   8:10 AM
Date:   Saturday 21st March 2020
Venue:   Brisbane Grammar School
Venue Address:   Corner Gregory Terrace andCollege Road
Phone Enquiries:   0455464000
Email Enquiries:   trish.purcell@bigpond.com


Diving into Analytical Writing

ETAQ will present a session on how to write an 'analytical essay' on Tuesday 28 April, at Aquinas College, Edmund Rice Drive, ASHMORE. In 2020, students will be required to write an 'analytical essay' in the external exam for General English. However, the term 'essay' is not used consistently across subject areas a...

Category:   Professional Development
Start Time:   3:15 PM
Date:   Tuesday 28th April 2020
Venue:   Aquinas College
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Tony Hytch presents

Tony will present a session entitled  "Getting students assessment ready for Essential English" at Pimlico State High School, Townsville on Saturday 2nd May, 2020. Teachers will explore teh possible options for assessment in Units 1 and 2. In particular how to develop an assessment program which best prepares students for the t...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 2nd May 2020
Venue:   Pimlico High School
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Early Career Conference 2020: Diving Deep into Teaching

This event for teachers in their first firve years of teaching and those who are new to the teaching of English will submerge you in a new, colourful, and enchanting world where you can engage with your peers. it is also a 'not to be missed' event for preservice teachers.  For those who are interested in offering a presentati...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 9th May 2020
Venue:   To be confirmed


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