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Somerset Young Poets Competition 2017 – Climate Results As ever, this year’s Somerset Young Poets competition was difficult to judge due to the high number of strong entries. 223 poems were received from 8 different schools. As is the current trend, the majority of these entries came from the younger students. In the workshops to support this competition, we practised writing not just about climate, but about emotional climate. As a result, many of these poems touch on personal detail. With a few notable exceptions, many of the poems which addressed Climate Change proved to be over-general, and lacked specific details which compelled the attention. With the older classes, poems such as Sylvia Plath’s Sheep in Fog and Simon Armitage’s Shrove Tuesday demonstrated ways in which weather can suggest, or even embody, a narrator’s state of mind. 7 – 9 Category As ever, this age category was hard-fought, with a record 173 entries. For this reason, as well as the winners and the highly commended and commended entries which stood out from the crowd, there are a number of honourable mentions. The poems which most impressed me had an individual perspective, and did not falter. Often, a strong poem would peter out like a damp firework. This was the difference between a prize-winner and an also- ran. Prize Winners 1 st Prize I always and always! Ruby Hanson, Minehead First Joint 2 nd Prize Running Through the Seasons Ryan Reed, Parkfield School Colours and happiness Sophie Hough, Minehead First Joint 3 rd Prize Tip a Tap a Jemima Anderson What is Cloudy? Lucie McLannon, Minehead First Highly Commended Wet Easter Eggs Martha Joanne Milton-Jenkins, Minehead First

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  • SomersetYoungPoetsCompetition2017–ClimateResultsAsever,thisyear’sSomersetYoungPoetscompetitionwasdifficulttojudgeduetothehighnumberofstrongentries.223poemswerereceivedfrom8differentschools.Asisthecurrenttrend,themajorityoftheseentriescamefromtheyoungerstudents.Intheworkshopstosupportthiscompetition,wepractisedwritingnotjustaboutclimate,butaboutemotionalclimate.Asaresult,manyofthesepoemstouchonpersonaldetail.Withafewnotableexceptions,manyofthepoemswhichaddressedClimateChangeprovedtobeover-general,andlackedspecificdetailswhichcompelledtheattention.Withtheolderclasses,poemssuchasSylviaPlath’sSheepinFogandSimonArmitage’sShroveTuesdaydemonstratedwaysinwhichweathercansuggest,orevenembody,anarrator’sstateofmind.7–9CategoryAsever,thisagecategorywashard-fought,witharecord173entries.Forthisreason,aswellasthewinnersandthehighlycommendedandcommendedentrieswhichstoodoutfromthecrowd,thereareanumberofhonourablementions.Thepoemswhichmostimpressedmehadanindividualperspective,anddidnotfalter.Often,astrongpoemwouldpeteroutlikeadampfirework.Thiswasthedifferencebetweenaprize-winnerandanalso-ran.PrizeWinners1stPrize Ialwaysandalways! RubyHanson,MineheadFirstJoint2ndPrizeRunningThroughtheSeasons RyanReed,ParkfieldSchoolColoursandhappiness SophieHough,MineheadFirstJoint3rdPrizeTipaTapa JemimaAndersonWhatisCloudy? LucieMcLannon,MineheadFirstHighlyCommendedWetEasterEggs MarthaJoanneMilton-Jenkins,MineheadFirst

  • Unusualthingscanchangetohappiness MaisieKendall,MineheadFirstCommendedTheGreatBarrierReef KeertanNatakala,Parkfield TheOcean ImogenAhmet,ParkfieldLotteryWin ZoeLloyd,StPeter’sByeDad,HelloDad EbonySavage,StPeter’sUntitled WilliamPorter,ParkfieldSchoolHeartbreaker RachelMackie,MineheadFirstHonourablementionsalsogoto:Mydogfeelssad Aaron-leeColinHobbs,MineheadFirstWhyI’mHappy LennonSinclaire,MineheadFirstFootball ZayedAlhusni,StPeter’sFirstPuppies LaceyGibbons,MineheadFirstStormFright HenryPatterson,ParkfieldWeatherweather CharlesGoodridgeBulliestoFriends ArabellaRossiter,CombeStNicholasWhereismyCat? GracePickering,StPeter’sLost AmberFoley,MineheadFirstThegreatbutbadday ChaseClausen,StPeter’sSadnesstoHappiness RhaeyaFouracre,StPeter’sFirstOneday… LouisFoster,StPeter’sFirstWhenIwenttoCharterhouse… SamDoverChanges CharlotteHumphries,StPeter’sFirstLikeaLion RyanLobley,StPeter’sFirstSingingBird MadidahHussain,StPeter’sFirst

  • FirstPrizeIalwaysandalways! RubyHansonIalwaysrisetotheshiverofhands.Notalarms,whispers,silenceorbreakfastorfootstepsordogsorcatsorlightsbuthandsonspines!Mydadalwaysshiversmyspinewithhishands!Ialwayswaketothesmelloftoast.Notfruit,juice,yoghurtorjamorfloorboardsoreggsorbaconorteabuttoast!Myfatheralwaysgivesmetoast!Ialwaysputthedoginherbedtogrowls!Notthank-yous,whimpersorsilenceorhugsorbyesorloudsofthumsbutgrowls!Mynan’sdogalwaysgrowls!Ialwaysspeedtoschooltohugs!Notgifts,wordsorpeaceorwelcomesordancesorfunbuthugs!Ialwaysgotoschooltohugs!

  • (Joint)SecondPrizeRunningThroughtheSeasons RyanReedRunninginSpringIhavetododgetheshowers.Theycanappearfromnowhereandseemtolastforhours!DaffodilsarebloomingintheparkwhereIrunandthewindscanbestrongbutitmakesitmorefun.Runninginsummergreengrassblueskiesandme.Latenightrunsmakemefeelsofree.Pouringwateronmyheadtocoolmedown.Thegentlesummerbreezeblowsthroughmytown.RunninginAutumncrunchyleavescarpetthefloor.Red,orange,green,brown,goldandmanymore.It’snearlyfireworknightandsmokybonfiresfilltheairrunningthroughmuddypuddlesslippingeverywhere.RunninginwinterbreathingicycoldairfrozengroundandfrozenfingersIcanhardlybareRunninginthedarkthroughhail,rainandsnow.Thewindfreezesmyfaceasitstartstoblow.(Joint)SecondPrizeColoursandhappiness SophieHoughMylifeisswirlsofcolourlightingmylifelikethesummersun,ColoursgivemeConfidence.Blue,red,greenandyellowareallwondersofmyworldinsideme.Happinesscreatedmylifeandmysmilefrommyfacetomytoesticklingfrominsideme.Happinessismyonesunshine.Burningasmileonmyface.Coloursandsmilesthejoyofmyworld.WhereIdaydreamaboutcoloursandsmilestellingmetobehappyandsmile.

  • (Joint)ThirdPrizeTipaTapa JemimaAndersonIwasfastasleepwhenIheardtipatapa.“Whatwasthat?”Ilookedoutofmywindow.Thewatertroughhadoverflown.Iputmycoatonandranoutside.Ididn’task.IwenttoknockforEva.Iwasverysad.“Wecan’thaveawaterfight,comeovermine.”Mydogcameupstairs.Hejumpedonmybed.Tipatapa.Iheardbirdscomingmyway“Whyarebirdscomingintherain?”Whenthelastbirdcamethesuncameout.MeandEvaputourshoeson.Weranoutside.Wehadawaterfight.(Joint)ThirdPrizeWhatisCloudy? LucieMcLannonWhatiscloudy?SadnessiscloudyLikewhenmy3ratspassedawayslowlyOrwhenIwasfollowingmygrandad’scoffin.Whatissunny?HappinessissunnyMy3ratsclimbingupthecageinthepastOrwhenmygranddadletusthrowknivesattheground.

  • HighlyCommendedPoemsWetEasterEggs MarthaJoanneMilton-JenkinsInFranceonEastermorning,therainwaspouringdown,Dripdropdripdrop!Mysuddenthoughtwas,“OhnotheEastereggs.Theywillallbewet.”WithoutputtingonmyshoesorcoatIranoutofmybedroomandontothelanding.Asquickasaflash,Idasheddownstairstothebackyard.OfcourseIwasright…Theirchocolatesurfacewasmeltingintherain.Thecoldnessonmybarefeet,shotuptomybrainandmademeshiverlikeIwasapersoninAntarcticawearingshortsleeves.Isatonthestairscryingsaltylittletears.Suddenly,Isawateenygoldenbunny,hiddeninbetweenmyshoes.Althoughitwasn’tchocolateitwasthebestpresentIeverhadbecauseitwasoneoftheeasterbunny’slittletinybabybunnies.Itslittletinyearlookedlikeachocolatecoin.SoInameditchocolate.(HighlyCommended)

  • Unusualthingscanchangetohappiness MaisieKendallTheunusualfigurewasoutsideinthefield.IthoughtitwasmymumButItookanotherlookShehadchangedinsomewayShewaswithhermumanddadTheyhadadogandwerestaringMymumrantowardsmeIhuggedherbutshedisappearedShethenreappearedwhenIgothomeIkissedheronthecheekSuddenly,shecamealiveWestartedanewlifeIhadahappyfeelinginmysoulSheboughtmesweetsIdidn’thavetogotoschoolLikebeforewhenshewasillWewerehappyandjollytogetherShewasverykindtomeThatiswhyIloveherSheisspecialtome(HighlyCommended)

  • 10–12CategoryTheysaythathappiness‘writeswhite’,whichmightexplainwhythewinnersofthe10–12categorycontainquitesomuchanxiety.We’renotquitesurewhatchangehascometolaywastetoGeorgeOwen’ssuretyofpurpose.However,oncewereachthefifthstanza,anyformerenergyhasgone,andthereisonlyoneactiveverb–andthataparticiple–infivelines.Twonicetouchesarehowtheline‘nomorestraightanswers’followsthemoreliteral‘nomorestraightroads’,andthewaythattheword‘car’canbefoundre-arrangedintheword‘scrap.’Metaphorsarecontrolleddeftlythroughout.LylaPike’sauthentic,believablevoice–‘that’snotit’–convincinglycarriesusthroughasituationinwhichweknowsomethingiswrongbutcan’tquitelocateit.SarahCawley’s‘AnotherNewSchool’unfoldsatitsownpaceandconcludeswithanicelyunderstatedpositivenote,whileCharlieKellett’s‘Wind’hasitsowninternalpullsandpressuresoflanguage,rhymingwhenonedoesn’texpectit,andcomingtotheendofasentence–andathought–beforestirringintolifeagain.1stPrize NoPurpose GeorgeOwen,CombeStNicholas2ndPrize ApoemaboutEmotionalClimate LylaPike,StAndrew’sCofE3rdPrize AnothernewSchool SarahCawley,Queen’sCollegeWind CharlieKellettHighlyCommended Theteamswereraringtogo… LouisaNelson,ParkfieldMovingSchool KeeganHounsell,CombeStNicholasWhenImovedHouse WarrenGeorgeThorne,CombeStNicholasBulliedtoRespected IsaacHenley,CombeStNicholasCommended TheSurpriseofaLifetime GeorgeChapple,CombeStNicholasStormySeas BenMcCallum,ParkfieldFriendshipFrenzy CharlieParkes,ParkfieldTheBattleScene IsaacSparks,Parkfield

  • FirstPrizeNoPurpose GeorgeOwenMybedusedtobeamotorcarCruisingalongstraightroadsTheenginehummingsoftlyUnderthesmoothbonnetDrivingtoalandofmyown.ApieceofropewasmyanchorHoldingmyplaceintheworldMadeofstrongmaterialAlmostunbreakableFullofjoyousthoughts.MybookwasmysalvationEachmorningIopeneditReadapageSoonlosttothewondersShiningwithlight,neverforgotten.Onecoldevening,IwalkslowlytomyroomStormbrewingoutsideIlookinEyesfullofworry.ThemotorcarscrapTheenginegivingitslastbreathsNomorestraightroadsNomorestraightanswersNomoretranquildreams.ThepieceofropesnappedLosttostrongseasIthasnoplaceDriftingawaytowardsdistantlandsIt’sgotnopurpose.MyoldbookcoveredincreasesTeastainsallovertherippedpagesNeverreadLostonadustybookshelfIthasnopurpose.

  • SecondPrizeApoemaboutEmotionalClimate Onthephone,Allalone.Youknowshe’snotok.“What’sup?”youask,Gettinghertosayisatask,Butstillshe’snotok.Eventuallyshetellsyou,She’shavingfamilyissues.Youknowthat’snotit.Thenshetellsyoufully,Thatsheisbeingbullied.Youtrytocomforther,Shesaidshetoldsir.Hesaidforgetthem,You’realittlegem.Don’tletthemgettoyou,Justsayboo.Andgetonwithyourlife,Don’tletthemgiveyoustrife.LylaPike

  • (Joint)ThirdPrizeAnothernewschool SarahCawleyIstandinthebustlingcorridor,Asmallbaretree,balancedontheconcrete.Harshwordsbitingflesh,Resonatinginmyhead.Rustymarksstainmysoul,Peoplerushing,stampedingtheschoolhall.ThestrongropeswhichoncesteadiedmeAreflappinginthesurgingstorm,Blownoffcourseonanunstableraft,Likesailingintouncharteredmist.Theclassroomsholdonlyfearanddread.Pupils’wordspinchandpunchatme.Emotionalscarssoreliketrappedfingersinadoor,Noescapeasthestormclosesin,Thesafetyharnessunclippedandslipping.Teachers,carers,parentsTellmeIwillgetusedtoit!Dotheynotseewhatliesahead?Senttoyetanothernewschool.Willmyropesholdandmychainsregaintheirgleam?Aretheharshseascalming?Anewseasonbringinggrowth,Ifeelthewarmsuntouchmybarebranches,Hopetwinklesfromtheshinycleanwalls.Standingtall,bloominginthemeadow,Myrootsdiggingdeepinthefertilesoil.Strong,secure,safe.Thekindwordssurroundme,Birdssingingtheirwelcomingtunes.Thenotesdrawmeintothesoft,comfortblanket.IthinkI’mgoingtolikethisschool.

  • (Joint)ThirdPrizeWind CharlieKellettThewindisadangerousfoe.Itliesamongthesilentleaves,Waitingforitsinnocentprey,Andwhenitcomesandsitsbelow,Thepriceoffreedomisnotcheap.Thewindisadangerousfoe.Itcanhowlforyearsamongrockortree,Andsomewillneverleaveitsgrasp,Saveexpelledoveradiredrop,Tofalltoone’sdoomathousandfeetbelow.Thewindisadangerousfoe.Somehavefoughtit,usedit,riddenit,Onwingsofsilenteeriedeath,Butnevershalltheyconquerthewind,Whofliesthehighestofthemall.Thewindisadangerousfoe.

  • HighlyCommendedPoemsTheteamswereraringtogo… LouisaNelsonTheteamswereraringtogoTeamThunderinyellow,TeamStorminBlue.ItwasatopofthetableclashThiswasamustwincricketgame.Theweatherwasperfect,Skyasblueastheoceanonatropicalisland.ThesmelloffreshlycutgrassintheairandThenewimprovedwickethadbeenreadyallweek.TheimportantgamestartedThunderwerebattingandStormwerefielding.Bothsidesshowedimpressivecricketskills.ThefirstinningsfinishedwithTeamThunderallout.AstheteamsenjoyedarefreshingteaGreystormcloudsformedinthebluesky.AheavyrainshowerdroppedfromthecloudsThelushgreengrasswasfloodedinminutes.BothteamsweredesperatetoplayButtheumpiresrefusedtofollowtheirrequestUnfortunatelythegameendedasadrawThecrowdsweredisappointedandthestandswerecleared.(HighlyCommended)

  • MovingSchool KeeganHounsellMydiary’spagesrippedscatteredonthefloor,Lostinthesealikeababyshark.Theweatherthunderinginthebackground.Mygoalsmashed.Pieceseverywhere,Sharppiecesinmyfeet.Mycricketbathascracksinlikeabrokenheart,Cornersrippedoff.LostlikeababyLioninthewoods.Nowmydiaryisshinyredandtidy,Mygoalisnowshinyred,everythingreflectingoffofit,Allpiecesputtogether.Mycricketbatallneatandtidy,Cornersallfixed,Nowthesunisreflectingoffmyshinydiary.(HighlyCommended)

  • WhenIMovedHouse WarrenGeorgeThorneIhadabluepenMypenworked.ItwasusedalotItstillhadalidItwasapenthatmadeMehappy.Ihadagleamingshinyphotoalbum,AllsunnydayswithmyfamilyTheywerenotripped.MybedwasveryComfy,WhenIjumpedOnit,AnditwasVerycomfy,itwasnotripped.Thepenwasnotusedasmuch,Thelidwassnapped,Ormissing,Thependidn’tworkAnymore.AllofthephotoswererippedTheyfelloutOfthephotoalbum.MybedwasallRippedmymattresswasNotcomfyanymoreThebedspringssnapped.(HighlyCommended)

  • BulliedtoRespected IsaacHenleyGoingtoschoolstormbrewing,Excited,I’mmetBysadnessandhatred,thesunturnsintorain.Sittingintheclassroom,Cryingatmydesk,Notabletodomywork.Goingouttobreak,Pusheddownbyboys,Wantingtorunaway.Changingschoolexcitedandnervous,I’mmetbysmilingfaces,Kindchildrenallaroundme.Sittingdownonceagain,Caring,helpfulpeoplearoundme,I’mgoodatmyworkgettingbetter,better.Runningintheplayground,Playingwithmyfriends,Mycutshealed.Hatredturnedintolove,Goinghomehappyforonce,Sleepingsoundlesslyinmybed.(HighlyCommended)

  • 14–17CategoryHannahHayusessnowtorepresenttheoppressiveconformityofcertaintypesoffaithandhowitmightdrownoutanindividual’scharacterandvoice.Sheusesthewhiteofthepageasasilentforcewhichmightsmotherherthoughts,whileeachlinebravelystakesitsclaim.IzzyJohn’s‘TheSilentBreakfast’successfullyusessyntaxinadifferentway,thistimetorestrictthenaturalflowofconversationandaffection.‘Nospeech,laughter./Nothing.’Theimageofpastrieswaitinglikevirginbanksofsnowisvividandoriginal.JacobHarrishasawildlyoriginalvoice,andhisworkrewardsre-reading,whileHarryPaynter’s‘INK’(anacronymfor‘INowKnow’)describeswhatmusicmeanstohim.FirstPrizeSnowfall HannahHay,HeathfieldSecondPrizeTheSilentBreakfast IzzyJohn,HeathfieldJointThirdPrizeAShipintheStorm JacobHarris,HeathfieldINK HarryPaynter,HeathfieldCommendedRain JordonNelson,HeathfieldLefttoBondwithSorrow ElliePorter,Heathfield

  • FirstPrizeSnowfall HannahHayAwholelifeencompassedbywhiteThepureblindingwhiteofbeliefSurroundingme,suffocatingmewithfalsehopeChillingmetotheboneTheblossomingflowersofmytrueselfWiltingunderanicyblanketofliesChangingmyviewsofallIfindgoodintomisguidedperceptionsofrealityHarshhowlsofpreachingsDriftintomyimpressionablebrainInfluencingmetodedicatemyselftosomethingThatwillonlymeltawayTheconstantremindertodobetter,bebetterWovenintomysubconsciousHowdoIbreakoutofthiscold,brainwashedbattleAndfinallystepintothesun

  • SecondPrizeTheSilentBreakfast IzzyJohnThetable.Fullandemptyatthesametime.Nospeech,laughter.Nothing.Warmcoffeepouredintolargemugs.Keepingusawakeintheearlymorning.Themostwecouldmanage.Elsewe’dfalldeep.Shebitesintodrippingbaconsandwiches.Hecrunchesonthetoast.Noeyecontact.Stillnothing.Nowarmthbehindtheglassyeyesofpeopleonceloved.Nosmilesuponthefacesofabsentbeings.Fluffywhitepastrieslaidoutinheapedpiles.Untouchedandwhole.Likefallensnowflakeswaitingtobejumpedin.Anabyssofnothing.

  • (Joint)ThirdPrizeAShipintheStorm JacobHarrisThewindshouted,shoutedtowardsme,calledmetoaplacewhereallisabsent.Allbutsinnedstars,forcedtoobeytheirdevils.Theydroppedtearsuponthee.Figureschainedtomasts,sothattheymightfloat.Seenwhiningathorses,brushingpastsouls.Theworld’sevilconjuredaroundme,toformapresence.Itspawsflexedtocreateasubversionagainstall.Fineanddugin,likebarbedwire,willingtodomoreharmthangood.Itseesmeasalesser,itslesser.YetIfeelpartneredwiththee,likeIalwayshavebeen.Itcalmsme,sothere’sonlyroomfordissentandadherence.However,withinthee’sdarkness,itschildrenworshiplight.Theythrowlight,scatterlight,shadowedlight.Abeamheldupbyhorrorandforcedintoanundeniablestateofbeing.Theyclawanddragawaymysails.Ontopathsfuelledbythestoriesofseenlesser.Myshipisgiftedatasteoftheinescapableend.Andmystorysinkstobeasinnedstar.

  • (Joint)ThirdPrizeINK

    I’vewrittenthemelody.Awriterintheclouds.

    Thespectrumwillbethesoftsounds

    thatcolourmefree.

    Theweightedkeys,theweightinme.Gone–withinsubtlevelocity.

    Themodulationwithinasinglebeat.

    Themodulationofcolour;themodulationofdebris.

    Alltheanger;thebloodthatwon’tflowsoproudly.

    Therush,theadrenaline

    thatmakesmefeelalive–burningly.

    Thepiercingcold,thebluethewilted,fadedflowers.

    Frostedandencrustedinme

    everythingthatinternallysurrounds.

    ThemyriadsofcolourcollectandcondensewithintheINK–

    *

    INowKnow,thisiswhathelpsmeescapethevultureofjealousyinourungratefulculture.

    Thesearethecoloursthat

    onceswaminmysubconscious.

    Thecoloursthatraspandhowl,andscream–unzippedattheseams,

    foreverwhisperinghoarsely,themusicthatsetsme

    free.

    HarryPaynter