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June 18

Beatrix wins in GDST Laurie Magnus poetry prize

We are so proud of Beatrix who won in the Years 7, 8 and 9 category with her poem 'PHOENIX' in the GDST Laurie Magnus poetry prize. 

The judge this year was Sydenham High School alumna Claudia Daventry, whose poetry has been in widely published reviews, anthologies and poetry magazines, and she has won several prizes, including first place in the Bridport Prize. In 2019 she won the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine and is working currently on a collaborative project focussing on the connection between mental health and sleep, and the protection of the dark sky.

Claudia says about the event "I had a wonderful time reading every one of these entries, and a difficult one selecting a winner and a commended from each group out of so many poems which showed promise in so many ways."

Claudia described Beatrix's powerful poem as attention-grabbing with imagery that describes the claustrophobia of mental illness.

The school who have won or been commended with receive certificates and vouchers for the winners to present at a convenient time in the future.

A huge congratulations to all the winners! You can read Beatrix's winning poem below.

 

Phoenix

When I thought I was the fire
I went up in smoke.
I crumbled
Like cinders.

I am china
Bone white,
I am beautiful but cracked.

So now I sit here
Stone walls, concrete floor
White curtains drawn
The space as blank as my eyes.

And the gown
Hangs limply off my shoulders,
Blue and white this is no ball

As I watch the
Cracks in the plaster,
Cracks in the paint,
Where the white mask chips away.

And my mind
Is held together by safety pins.
But I know what I feel,
But I know what I saw

And the stars have never shone so bright.

By the white curtains
On the concrete floor
I’m staring at a crack in the wall.

Colours I have never seen
Explode before my eyes,
Nebulas, galaxies passing by.

I fade away
but I have never felt so alive.

I know I’m the ashes
That I’m not the flame
But I will burn bright

Just like the stars.
And then
I fall
Down
Just like my tears
And I drape as limp as my hospital gown.

But I wish I would not cry,
For I am a star.
Where I’m going
I think it’s a crack
But I know it’s a door.

Turned to cinders
I’m still waiting for the fog to clear.
Rise from the embers
Spread my wings.

But.
I.
Can’t.
Fly.

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