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

Diving Deep into External Assessment

Student and teacher events: Diving Deep into the Analytical Essay Latest update Detailed information statement and instructions were sent to schools on Wednesday 2nd September. A copy is available here for your information Pre-recorded materials open to registered participants from 3pm,  with live discussion in half hour bloc...

Category:   Student (and teacher) Event
Start Time:   3:00 PM
Date:   Wednesday 30th September 2020
Venue:   Online
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Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Diving Deep into the Analytical Essay for teachers

The Teacher workshop  information and links will be sent to registered participants on Thursday morning Teachers can view the webinar session Preparing Students for the EA on Saturday morning then participate in our live discussion. Or you can choose to run your own workshops later.  Pre-recorded material will be available f...

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Monday 12th October 2020
Venue:   Online
Phone Enquiries:   0455464000
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


SCCC Resource sharing

Andrew Snee and the Senior English staff at  Southern Cross Catholic College would like to share some of the teaching strategies and modelling/scaffolding resources that have been implemented and devised for the demands of general English. From analysing representations of prejudice and alienation in literary texts to creating engaging im...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 17th October 2020
Venue:   Online
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Early Career Conference 2020: Diving Deep into Teaching

This event for teachers in their first five 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.  This event has been re-scheduled for Saturday 24 Octob...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 24th October 2020
Venue:   Wynnum SHS
Venue Address:   25 Peel Street, MANLY
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Essential English - Community of Practice Event

Essential English is new for everyone in 2020. We have all been busy creating rigorous and engaging programs for our students and guiding them through a period of extraordinary change and disruption. Now we're ready to take some time out for us. Our community of practice event is an opportunity for us to share some of the exciting work we...

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 7th November 2020
Venue:   Citipointe Christian College
Phone Enquiries:   0455464000
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


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