Poetry competition 2012 winners

Children's category, 11-14

Emily Morrish, 14, scooped the top prize in this category, with her impressive poem, My Name is the Earth. The runner up prize goes to Stephi Stacey, 13, with her moving entry, before they lost it all.


My Name is the Earth
by Emily Morrish (14), Devon

My name is the Earth.
I think back, to the playground of my youth, where
Snowdrops and bluebells push through the delicate, fragrant soil.
The sun peeps coyly over the purple horizon,
And the melodic dawn chorus strikes up.

I am in my prime and my minions, the Roses,
Gently unfurl their dusky pastel buds to display
Sumptuous velvet attire.
The mellifluous laughter of a crystal brook
Skips an octave as it trips over pebbles.

Then come the twilight days
When the air begins to bite with cold, sharp teeth.
Leaves turn first yellow, then red, then a crispy brown
And tiptoe softly to the ground
Where they whisper in the wind.

I am old now, and the world is asleep under a blanket
Of adamantine snow.
Deafening silence nestles in the crevices
Between branches on the apple tree, and collects in pockets
In valleys, just like mist.


Judges' comments

"I think Emily’s use of language is exceptional. In particular I like the description of the crystal brook as it “skips an octave as it trips over pebbles.”  I could hear that, and I liked the cold sharp teeth of the cooling autumn air." Pam Ayres

Runner up

before they lose it all
by Stephi Stacey (13), Cumbria

She is sitting alone again
and tearing the petals from flowers.
My sister’s skin did not always burst
into black-and-blue bruises.
She did not always need
to hold my hand.

Her hair is falling out –
I grab a strand and pretend
that it is like catching a leaf.
If it doesn’t hit the floor
she’ll live forever.

My sister was never greyscale,
managed to laugh and smile
for our sakes (but not her own).
Beautiful, even on the last day,
like colours in autumn – all bright –
before they lose it all


Judges' comments

"I thought ‘Before they lose it all’ was really elegant. So moving, yet unsentimental. Incredibly accomplished for one so young." Sarah Langan



The prizes for the children’s 10 and under and 11-14 categories were provided by Macmillan Children’s Books. To purchase these poetry books at 20 per cent discount, visit panmacmillan.com/MCBpoetry.

Additional prizes, including Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl, were supplied by Puffin Books. Find out more at puffin.co.uk.

Book covers: 101 Poems for Children and Green Glass Beads


Read more winning poems

Winners - adult category

Runners up - adult category

Winners - children 10 and under category

Winners - children 15-17 category