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Rugby High Takes The Podium In International Poetry Competition!

Elise Scotney in Y11 writes about  her poem that was awarded second place in the Leeds Peace Poetry Competition

A few weeks ago, I received some very exciting news – that I had been awarded second place in the Leeds Peace Poetry Competition! It was an international competition with three winners in each age category (primary, secondary and adult), featuring entrants from the UK, Singapore, India and even as far off as New Zealand. First place was awarded to Imogen Philip, one of our Year 13s from last year, for her poem “Abhainn”.

You can read the winning entries here:

Leeds Peace Poetry Competition 2020

What was the inspiration for your poem?

I took my inspiration from the competition’s theme: “The Impact of Water”, and Angela Readman’s poem “Note In A Bottle”. I thought about the endless stories of bottles concealing messages that float along the tide and wondered what would happen to the voices left behind if they never made it to the safety of land.

How long did it take you to write?

I wrote it during a session of Creative Writing Club at the start of lockdown. I believe it took about half an hour once inspiration struck, but I’ve been refining my poetry skills since I started in Year 7.

How many edits do you think you made before you were happy with your poem?

This poem was quite surprising as I made hardly any edits before submitting it to the competition. It took multiple attempts to get started but eventually the idea and the words came together as you see them here.

Is there any line(s) that you are particularly proud of? 

I am very proud of the lines “they share the fruits of the waves/and suffocate lost poems in their embrace” because I love the image that spawns from the use of personification. I enjoy the contradiction that comes from the two verbs “share” and “suffocate” as I feel it shows the differing characteristics of the ocean.

By Elise Scotney