2017 ESA Student Poetry Contest

And the winners are:

Each of these students will receive a copy of the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology, as well as a print edition of this year’s edition of the ESsays Creative Writing Blog, Letters Vol III.

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. This year’s theme is ‘Time’…  Join us, every school day throughout the month of April, for a feature poem on the theme.

Our poem of the day for today is: Song by English poet Edmund Waller.

“Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that’s young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired;
Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.

Then die! that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee;
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!

Edmund Waller, like many other English poets of his day, was swept up in the political turmoil of the English Civil War. In the 1640s, he was arrested, nearly executed, and then banished from England for a number of years before he was able to safely return. Ideologically adaptable, Waller wrote poems praising both Cromwell and King Charles II.

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. This year’s theme is ‘Time’…  Join us, every school day throughout the month of April, for a feature poem on the theme.

Our poem of the day for today is: On Route 11: Waiting on Blood Tests by Canadian poet George Ellenbogen.

I knew it as Nikos, this
caf where few cars stopped.
The door is boarded up,
like a house no one visits.

I lean inside the phone booth,
its glass door flapping like paper
in wind that cuts through ferns,
disturbing by the roadside

a handful of wheat tips:
their endings, pointing
through stems to thin wind
ponds, broken spurts

of air around corn stalks.
No one remains. Some put up
signs for a year or two; the
signs drop and snow brings

the roof down. In this booth.
I dial, count white cars.
waiting to discover what
my mother is silent about

as she counts the ceiling slats
and wonders whether her corpuscles
are turning like fall leaves
into an arithmetic she understands.

George Ellenbogen attended McGill University, receiving his BA in English and Sociology in 1955. He has taught creative writing at a number of prestigious international universities.

National Poetry Month: Griffin Poetry Prize

Week 3 of National Poetry Month has come to a close.

For Week 4 we are pleased to announce another Poetry Contest for member of the ESA Community.  The wonderful folks who run the Griffin Poetry Prize – who are the very same folks behind Poetry in Voice – are running a contest to Guess the Winners of the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prizes.

  • Winners will be randomly drawn after the deadline – June 8th 2017 – and each will receive a copy of the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology.

The ESA Library is running a parallel contest.

  • Everyone who enters the ‘real’ Griffin Poetry Contest should also advise the ESA Library as to their choices using this Google Form.
  • We will draw randomly from everyone who submits to our parallel contest… and the winner will go home with their own personal copy of the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology.
  • You must enter the ESA Library parallel contest by the end of the day Friday June 8th to be eligible.
  • Should it turn out that anyone – or more – who enters our contest correctly chooses both winners…  then we will, a second time, randomly draw names… and that winner will go home with a copy of the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology.

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REMEMBER also to enter the 4th Annual ESA Library Student Poetry Contest.

Poems must:

  • be on the theme of time;
  • be titled;
  • not have been previously published;
  • be formatted for 8.5″ x 11″ paper; and,
  • be no longer than 50 lines.

All entries must be submitted by no later than Friday April 28th.

  • Entries should be submitted via e-mail to Ms. Wray, in the Library.
  • E-mail: enid.wray@tdsb.on.ca

The top three entries will each receive a collection of poetry, as well as publication on the ESsays Creative Writing Blog.

  • Publication in, and a personal copy of, the print edition of ESsays is also included.

Good luck…

National Poetry Month

Catching up!  OOPS…  I left announcements for the week, and posted the first two days but got so busy in Vancouver I never had a thought for posting here.  So, here is Friday’s post:

April is National Poetry Month. This year’s theme is ‘Time’…  Join us, every school day throughout the month of April, for a feature poem on the theme.

Our poem of the day for today is: Erosion by Canadian poet E.J. Pratt.

It took the sea a thousand years,
A thousand years to trace
The granite features of this cliff,
In crag and scarp and base.

It took the sea an hour one night,
An hour of storm to place
The sculpture of these granite seams
Upon a woman’s face.”

E.J. Pratt, born in Western Bay, Newfoundland, was awarded – among other prizes – the Governor-General’s medal for The Fable of Goats and other poems (1937).  Mr. Pratt was the founder and first editor of Canadian Poetry Magazine.

National Poetry Month

Catching up!  OOPS…  I left announcements for the week, and posted the first two days but got so busy in Vancouver I never had a thought for posting here.  So, here is Thursday’s post:

April is National Poetry Month. This year’s theme is ‘Time’…  Join us, every school day throughout the month of April, for a feature poem on the theme.

Our poem of the day for today is: The Burden of Time by Canadian poet George Frederick Scott.

Before the seas and mountains were brought forth

I reigned. I hung the universe in space,

I capped earth’s poles with ice to South and North,

And set the moving tides their bounds and place.

I smoothed the granite mountains with my hand,

   My fingers gave the continents their form;

I rent the heavens and loosed upon the land

The fury of the whirlwind and the storm.

I stretched the dark sea like a nether sky

Fronting the stars between the ice-clad zones;

I gave the deep his thunder; the Most High

Knows well the voice that shakes His mountain thrones.

I trod the ocean caverns black as night,

And silent as the bounds of outer space,

And where great peaks rose darkly towards the light

   I planted life to root and grow apace.

Then through a stillness deeper than the grave’s,

The coral spires rose slowly one by one,

Until the white shafts pierced the upper waves

And shone like silver in the tropic sun.

I ploughed with glaciers down the mountain glen,And graved the iron shore with stream and tide;

I gave the bird her nest, the lion his den,

The snake long jungle-grass wherein to hide.

In lonely gorge and over hill and plain,

   I sowed the giant forests of the world;

The great earth like a human heart in pain

Has quivered with the meteors I have hurled.

I plunged whole continents beneath the deep,

And left them sepulchred a million years;

I called, and lo, the drowned lands rose from sleep,

Sundering the waters of the hemispheres.

I am the lord and arbiter of man—

I hold and crush between my finger-tips

Wild hordes that drive the desert caravan,

   Great nations that go down to sea in ships.

In sovereign scorn I tread the races down,

As each its puny destiny fulfils,

On plain and island, or where huge cliffs frown,

Wrapt in the deep thought of the ancient hills.

The wild sea searches vainly round the landFor those proud fleets my arm has swept away;

Vainly the wind along the desert sand

Calls the great names of kings who once held sway.

Yea, Nineveh and Babylon the great

   Are fallen—like ripe ears at harvest-tide;

I set my heel upon their pomp and state,

The people’s serfdom and the monarch’s pride.

One doom waits all—art, speech, law, gods, and men,

Forests and mountains, stars and shining sun,

The hand that made them shall unmake again,

I curse them and they wither one by one.

Waste altars, tombs, dead cities where men trod,

Shall roll through space upon the darkened globe,

Till I myself be overthrown, and God

   Cast off creation like an outworn robe.

Frederick George Scott  was known as the Poet of the Laurentians. Scott published 13 books of Christian and patriotic poetry. Scott was a British imperialist who wrote many hymns to the British Empire—eulogizing his country’s roles in the Boer Wars and World War I. Many of his poems use the natural world symbolically to convey deeper spiritual meaning.

Poetry in Voice: National Finals Update

A great day here in Vancouver…  where the forecasted rain held off and while the sun was not shining, it was all in all a pretty decent weather day.

This morning we had the English Qualifiers.  Sadly ESA’s Katie Beale is not moving on to  the Grand Finale tomorrow night, but Katie excelled at her job here in Vancouver.  Her recitations were top notch, presented with grace and poise.

The competition was stiff and it was anybody’s guess as to who would move on.  Everyone here in Vancouver is a winner.  24 students from across the country… chosen from over 500 hopefuls.  Phenomenal.

This afternoon everyone took a break from the pressure of the event, and explored ‘Poetic Vancouver’ on the Great Recitation Race.  Lots of zany tasks, improv poetry, writing haikus, and more saw the teams of teachers and students criss-crossing everywhere from the CBD, to the Chinatown Gate, to the Vancouver Art Gallery, to Granville Island – via the AquaBus – with a final stop at the Vancouver Public Library.  If we weren’t all ready for a nap earlier – thank you jet lag! – we certainly are now.

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Reminder that you can still tune in to more exciting happenings from Vancouver tomorrow:

Then be sure to tune in on Thursday, April 20 at 10:00pm Eastern Daylight Time

  • Whether you’re in Hay River or Antigonish, Grosse Île or Moose Jaw, join us at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre via our livestream as we celebrate the power of poetry, name our 2017 National Champions, and award over $25,000 in prizes.