Welcome to Poetic Pause

Whether it be for a brief moment or longer, we all need to stay still for a moment and just be. I've found over the years that my poetry helps me find those moments. I can drift away when reading the poetry of others and discover new ideas, new ways of thinking, of being.

When I settle down to write a new poem, or to work on one written previously, I drift away again, and grow as I write. Time takes on a different dimension, and my head goes places it has never been before. I love to write poetry, it's one of the best things there in the world - it's up there with chocolate when it's going well!

There are so many things to write poetry about, and so many different forms of poetry, from tiny 17 syllable haiku, to 200 page verse novels. All of the different forms have merits, and all can take you and your readers to interesting places.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"My Passion" Poetry Competition

Well, the poems have been sent in and judged, with the winners announced at the Gawler Poets at the Pub event at the Prince Albert Hotel, Gawler. Two of those receiving a Special Mention were there on the day, to receive their certificates, and to read their poems to those in attendence.

Cheques and certificates for others will be posted out tomorrow. Many thanks to those who entered this annual competition. There will be consideration soon on the possible theme for the next poetry competition, and the entry form and guidelines will be posted to this site later on this year, probably around August.

This is what the Judge had to say about this poetry competition:

Judges Comments

              “My Passion” Poetry competition run by the Adelaide Plains Poets Inc.

General Remarks.

Firstly let me say that I was very honoured to be asked to judge your competition and I undertook the task with a certain amount of apprehension for while I have entered quite a few poetry competitions, I have never judged one before!

That over I'll commence my task. Overall, I was very impressed with the general standard of the entries, especially those of the younger writers which augurs well for the future of poetry writing   in this and the wider community.

I do have some general comments about poetry writing which I hope you won’t mind me passing on as they come from my own experience!

Firstly – try to avoid rhyming, as this can be a trap for the unwary. If you are a very experienced and established writer by all means go for it but its restraints are humungus! It prevents a free flow of emotion and ideas unless in very skilled hands and an inexperienced poet quickly finds that the rhyme dominates their thought processes and feelings which is death to a potential poet, I believe.
Secondly rhyming can turn your poem into something lightweight when you really want a greater impact and at its worst can create what started off as a good idea into doggerel – so all I'm saying is – beware! Poets from all age groups fell into this trap I think and did themselves a disservice in the process.

My next comment is about relevance.  Your competition clearly asks for poems about “My Passion” and a couple of entries made only vague reference (if any ) to this and that didn't help their cause.
Lastly about passion – all poems should have this as part of them, it's what makes them a good poem, I believe and that quality finally is what helped me make my decisions - that and good writing.
What is good writing? That is a subjective view but I think it's writing that makes you think, sit up and feel and it does it by the way words, phrases, lines, imagery are mixed, blended, juxtapositioned and created.

Primary Section.
One poem stood out as winner of this section – 'T – Ball Knight'. Matthew Elkins
The whole poem is a passionate metaphor of knighthood which is sustained throughout the poem by taut line length, economy of words, imagery and internal metaphors and similes. A fantastic piece of writing by a primary school student.
Who would've thought that a passion for T – Ball could produce a literary work of art?

Secondary Section.
This section proved difficult to judge because there were a number of very good entries. Unfortunately some entries disqualified themselves by straying from the topic or not removing typos and spelling errors! Others found the limiting bind of rhyming hampered their efforts. I was finally able to select four poems  deserving of special mention.  They are – 'A Kiss in an Hourglass' Lauren Davidson, I Do NOT Want To Participate' Jemimah Bye, 'My Passion' Meg Eichmann and 'The Whisper of Words' Brynnie Rafe.
They all addressed the topic of Passion in an amazingly diverse way – passion to write, passion for life and ideas, a passion to be true to oneself and romantic, physical passion. They all used imagery,  line length and blank verse poetic structure to great advantage so that the message of their poem is impacted on the reader.

 However there has to be an outright winner for this section and it is, 'A Kiss in an Hourglass' Lauren Davidson.  This poem also carries a metaphor throughout and the writer continues to refer to this imagery throughout what is quite a short poem. This poem intrigues with its deceptive simplicity of structure but depth of sensuality. The poet uses the hourglass image to evoke a sense of time savoured but also lost in an intensity of momentary physical love. I think it is a very mature poem for this age group and the topic is handled sensitively and beautifully. Well done!

Open Section.
I also found this section extremely difficult to whittle down to a short list.  Once again the temptation to rhyme plagued this section too with similar consequences.
However there were a number of excellent entries and I have to make special mention of the following – 'I caught Enthusiasm' Alison Barker, 'Viva Verdi' Shelley Hansen (a rare example of rhyming well handled!), 'all passions spent' Avril Bradley, 'Occasionally' Jan Price, 'Tea Leaves' Darrelle Spenceley, 'My Passion', 'Arrival of the Lost Sketch Book' Anna Jacobson, 'Passionfruit' Bruce Greenhalgh and 'The Quest' (also a well-structured rhyming verse!) Shelley Hansen. Which only goes to show you need to be an experienced poet to rhyme successfully and produce good poetry – it can be done!

 I finally came down to two wonderful but very disparate poems one of which – would you believe rhymes!! They are 'The Quest' Shelley Hansen and 'Arrival of the Lost Sketchbook' Anna Jacobson. I believe they are equal first prize winners in this section.

Firstly 'The Quest'. This poem is very reminiscent of the skill, style and language mastery of the famous English poet Rudyard Kipling. The poet's management of rhyme, metre, metaphor and alliteration creates a propelling rhythm and a passionate philosophical message that races along carrying the reader with it.

 The poem appears deceptively simple in structure but is in fact quite complex. It uses an a,b,c,b rhyming pattern and a terse alternating10 syllable/9 syllable line in each four line stanza in this ten stanza poem. To sustain this throughout the poem while retaining the emotion, narrative and impetus  as well as the reader right in there with you, is a great achievement I think.

''Arrival of the Lost Sketchbook' is quite a different kettle of fish. Where 'The Quest' was fast paced, forthright and propelling this one is the reverse. It is reflective, reminiscent and quiet, yet full of brilliant colour and passionate memory. The poet uses many beautiful descriptive phrases to bring the thoughts of the subject of the poem to life.

The writer portrays in this narrative poem an elderly artist crippled with possibly arthritis who was once a painter of vividly coloured and exhilarating works. She discovers an old sketchbook and her memories of her past skills and achievements come flooding back in the excitement of her long remembered creativity and the rainbow hues she used.

The writer has captured not only the brilliant colours but also the textures and mediums the artist used to work in. The poet give the reader a sustained portrait in which the subject of the poem traces over the pastels and paintings and charcoal drawings captured in the sketchbook  reliving where she was and how she felt at the time she did each piece captured in it. The poem ends as the artist closes the sketchbook, her fingers imbued with the colours she's been tracing. This is a moving poem of talents lost and memories retrieved told in simple but luminous three line stanzas.

1 comment:

John Malone said...

I love the judge's comments. They and the title of the poems whet my appetite for a read