The best poems in this year’s Friends of the Waccamaw Library competition have a more serious tone than last year.
Cathy Filiatreau, president of the nonprofit poetry, said it was reflective of the students who have spent the past year coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and all the challenges that have come with it.
This was the 12th year of the competition, which attracted 71 entries from middle school students from Waccamaw Neck. The top five poets are all students of Elizabeth Intrieri’s class at Waccamaw Middle.
“That Night”, by Taryn Yonker, deals with the subject of sexual assault. Taryn added a note at the end of the poem to let the judges know she was not in a “bad mental state”, she just wanted to raise awareness.
“All my friends ask me if I’m okay and they take it very seriously and it makes me happy to realize that they’re focusing on it and people might start taking it more seriously,” Taryn said. .
Hope Joyce wrote “Everlasting Change” to encourage people to be themselves.
“I was thinking about how there’s a lot of hate in the world and how some people change themselves for other people,” Hope said. “They shouldn’t. They should love themselves.
Stella Eubanks, who is a dancer, thought about the feeling she felt just before going on stage to perform when she wrote “Anticipation”.
Jacob Hancock put some “random thoughts” on paper and came up with “Life to Death”. He said winning the contest was a good thing, especially when he found out he wouldn’t have to read his poem aloud in front of people.
Steven Paris didn’t think his poem, “America,” was very good, so he was excited when he found out he had won.
Social studies is Taryn, Steven and Hope’s favorite subject at school.
“I love that you can learn about past events and people and how we’ve gotten better since that time,” Hope said.
“I think it’s cool to learn about the history and the things that they had that we don’t have now and the things that we have now that they didn’t have,” Steven said. “How things worked out.”
Jacob’s favorite subject is math. Stella loves English.
Taryn, Hope, Jacob, Stella and Stevie each received $50, a book of poetry and a journal.
Everyone Changes | I hope Joyce
Change happens everyday
Human nature will continue to change
But what gives you the right to change for someone else
People who work overtime change to adapt to the status quo
Change yourself to please others
Convince yourself that it was for the best
But was it?
Do you feel better now that you have changed to fit another person’s point of view
Are you ashamed of the real you
You shouldn’t, so don’t
What gives others the right to tell you how to live
Live for yourself not for others
If you keep changing for others
One day you’ll look in the mirror and you won’t recognize yourself anymore
So don’t do
Don’t change for others
You are yourself, I am me
Sometimes that’s all we can be
Anticipation | Stella Eubanks
The cables have come undone,
Signals are lost
I feel the transmissions across the landscape
But no one gets
As the winds whip
And the trees cover their heads
I am standing; hope
That everything will be fine
Once the storm has passed
I am there, motionless
When the sound vibrates and vibrates,
Everything outside becomes silent and serene.
There is only flash and current:
And at that moment lightning polarizes every vein.
Life to Death | Jacob Hancock
From life to death
From death to dust
Everything fades into nothing
nothing changes everything
Try as we might
The cycle is endless
There’s a price on everything
What is the cost of living
What is the cost of dying
There’s a price on everything
But is the price high
How many eyes are watching
How many laws are broken without justice
How many truths are buried under a mountain of lies
How many unanswered questions
What do you do to escape reality
What false fantasies come to mind
We can believe our own lies
But what is the truth
And what is the lie
America | Steven Paris
Born from the flame of revolution
twelve twenty and four years ago,
great peacemaker of the west–
with one hand she holds high the torch of freedom and
in the other the scales of justice.
Those who dare to oppose her now find themselves beneath the surging waves;
countless brutal wars she fought.
Although its dark past is dominated by inequality,
in its future lies a world of equality.
For the wind has turned;
we woke up.
The blindfold of ignorance has fallen
The sun emerges
about this new freedom.
this night | Taryn Yonker
I never said yes
But I never said no
I wasn’t even in control
This night took me as a whole
When it happened I lost my soul
Tears were falling from my eyes
I had no control no matter how hard I tried
Now I can’t face it
When I do, I feel disgrace
This night hurt
But I go on and wear the same skirt
Am I wrong to ask whose fault it is
Or do I just keep feeling stopped
I never said yes
I never said no
But in the end the question remains
Did I have control?
* This poem was written to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault. I am in no way in a bad mental state.