Year 13 student Gautham Kumar won a poetry competition with his touching verse about an old woman struggling with dementia. After a selection of poems written by students and staff was read out in assembly, he was revealed as the winner and presented with a £25 voucher.
The competition was launched to link up with National Poetry Day today. This year’s theme was ‘Remember.’ Submissions were judged by the staff of the English department. Poems by Mrs Payne, Julienne Padayachy, Zoe Bezzina and Mr Procter were read out in both assemblies.
Finally Miss Dunn read Gautham’s poem:
‘She tries to remember;
Before her someone waiting stands,
She peers with eyes so old and grey,
To search her mental dossier.
Behind her forehead neurons fire,
But to no avail and quickly tire.
The smile before her starts to strain
It’s happiness it has to feign.
The dopamine does not secrete,
Her memories flee on silent feet.
She cannot remember
Literacy co-ordinator Mr Duguid said: ‘It is a really sensitive approach to a quite dark issue of dementia. It has got really good vocabulary and the words show a real flair for science. It is quite an emotional poem but delivered in a very scientific way. The structure is really effective; one line, the poem and then the final line. Some of the imagery and the personification is haunting. Even the lack of a title supports the notion of a mystery, that this poor old lady is struggling to remember. The talent evident in all of the submitted poems was really incredible and I really appreciate the standard that was set by our students and staff.’
Afterwards Gautham said: ‘I did not get to spend an awful lot of time on the poem because I was busy revising for my bio-medical admissions test and that is what inspired me to write it. I was reading about how neuro-degenerative disorders can take place and I thought it would be interesting to write it up considering this year’s topic.
‘I am very fond of the structure and the way that it opens and closes in the same way. It took a couple of re-edits to make it read the way I wanted and different sections of it appeared in my head before I wrote it out so it was quite easy to throw it all down on a page but I wasn’t expecting to win.'