It’s time to reveal the winners of the St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral poem competition for 2021. Many thanks go to our competition judge Dr Jane Morris for taking on the challenge of picking the top poems. Here’s what Dr Jane Morris said about the poet’s entries.
“What an honour to be invited to judge a poetry competition. I was impressed by the range and number of entries and by the fact that so many of them used strict rhyming patterns. I do hope those poets will go on to experiment with some really challenging verse forms such as villanelles or sonnets. I recommend Stephen Fry’s book ‘The Ode less Travelled’.
It was really poignant that so many folk wrote sadly about lockdown and in envy of wild things and creatures who are free. All credit too to the few who dispensed with rhymes and relied on voice rhythms and word choice to provide structure.
In the end I chose ‘Friends’ as the winner. It was short, apparently simple, with an emphatic but untrained use of rhyme, and it expressed a sentiment that is of this age but for all time and at the heart of the church. If I’m allowed runners-up, I would highly commend both ‘The Flight of the Brown Owl’ and ‘The Cat’. I greatly enjoyed both.”
The winning poem is: ‘Friends’ by Moyreen Whittaker:
Friends have always been important to me And always will be Sadly many of them I no longer see But I know if I needed help They would pray for me As they are my friends and always will be
Runners-up are ‘The Flight of the Brown Owl’ by Jenny Cruickshank and ‘The cat’ by Nicola Mossom:
The Flight of the Brown Owl
Into the shafts of the mellow moon light, Intent on sourcing a juicy fat bite Moving his head with the help of his sharp eyes and ears The Brown Owl makes a silent plunge with out any fears He pounces unsuspectingly on a tasty field mouse The Brown Owl flies on to his secret hiding place Settling to eat his meal with gusto and leaving no trace In the silence of the night he swiftly takes flight, Seeking another sumptuous snack to devour with delight Into the shafts of the mellow moon light
The cat as a kitten is a cute ball of fluff, Grows quickly, and is sleek and is clever, She'll soon be bringing you presents of mice, Which means she'll love you for ever. When loved by a cat you feel a bit special, But she's not all soft, don't assume, Though cuddly and soft at the best of times, She's the lion in your own living room.
The best poem from the Under-18s poets is ‘Wheat ears’ by Laura Chimara:
In a place with no fears, At a different harvest years, With all our peers, So let us all cheer, In this big harvest year!
Many thanks to all the entrants for their great poems and for the very welcome donations.
Fr Terry Taggart