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The first MMFS Lightning Poetry Contest took place on December 12, 2014. Seventeen elementary school students, seventeen middle school students, and five upper school students participated. After weeks of practicing, they each recited from memory a favorite poem in front of three judges: MMFS trustees Felice Friedman, Nancy Feinberg, and Rebecca Givan.
“We were privileged to spend our morning judging the competition, and to hear such a diverse and brilliant set of recitations.” Said Rebecca Givan. “The poems were so varied, from the whimsical to the profound.”
Performers were evaluated on the complexity of the poem selected, the ability to memorize the poem, and presentation of the poem. “Some students overcame their fear of public speaking, while others relished the opportunity to show their dramatic flair. The students amazed us with their ability to articulate and express the words (and meanings) of the poems, and their remarkable powers of memorization,” remarked Rebecca.
Poetry Advisors who had helped students prepare – Rebecca Beck in the elementary school, Beth Bucher in the middle school, and Rebecca Pryor in the upper school – looked on with pride as students recited their poems. “They (students) maintained their poise and blew them (judges) away, one by one. It took quite a while for the judges to determine the winners,” Beth Bucher commented.
The winners are as follows.
1st place: Beck Winter, The Dragons Are Singing Tonight by Jack Prelutsky
2nd place: Aaron St. Germain, At the Beach, author is unknown
3rd place: Caroline Canty, Good Dog by Maya Gottfried.
1st Place: Scott Robbins, The Lanyard by Billy Collins
2nd Place: Hannah Hojraj, Desert Tortoise by Byrd Barnard
3rd Place: Ayanbi and Andy (poem in two voices), Broken, by Dee Rees from the movie Pariah
4th Place: Katie Halloran, Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poem
1st Place: Olivia Wiltshire, Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll.
“It was so hard to choose winners from each division, but so gratifying to share in the students’ joy in congratulating their classmates when we announced the winners,” said Rebecca Givan.
The first place winners from each division will recite their poems at the elementary school winter performance on Friday, December 19th. Congratulations to all of the poetry contestants on a job well done!