GSSM student places first in poetry contest
The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM) junior, Lucia Brown of Richland County, placed first in the 9-12 grade category of the South Carolina State Library’s annual Young Minds Dreaming Poetry Contest.
The annual Young Minds Dreaming Poetry Contest encourages young writers to capture the power of their words and experience the freedom of original literary expressions. Pat Mora was this year's featured poet for the poetry contest. Pat’s book, Bookjoy, Wordjoy, inspired this year's theme for students. Students were asked to write a poem about the joy of words, the joy of reading, or the joy of books.
Lucia shared her poem, “Korralik”, inspired by her love for the Estonian language and her experiences with her grandmother over the past few months.
Yesterday, the sky was sixteen
shades of patience, the moon her
calm nurse, spine curved over
still body. In the corner—
yesterday’s New York Times,
quiet. Hair carefully pinned, she
sleeps, tube snaking from her
stomach, the steady drip a tiny
cascade of seconds.
but the bounds of English are not
the bounds of language, she reminds me,
and so I take that word, the one
Estonian word to capture her
entirely un-American expression of
quiet, tidy, perfect put-togetherness
to say instead, when waiting,
when seconds cascade
into hours and even long
hair pinned korralikult back does
not ease the dripping, tomorrow’s
New York Times is there. In the corner,
by your korralik stack of novels and
three pairs of shoes. The sky
is patient, offers last light so
the IV pole, that third leg, squares
with your rainbow clogs, korralikult.
“In New York City, you can buy the Sunday New York Times on Saturday night. I’ve always loved how the order of the days ends up falling to the paper. My grandmother reads the Times cover to cover every day, and for her, having those extra Sunday sections one day early was always a highlight,” said Lucia Brown. “’Korralik’ is more a letter to her about her love for language than it is a poem about mine. For the past few months, she has been fighting through radiation and chemotherapy treatments. I know that stories and language have always been an escape for her, and they are even more so now. Tying my passion for language to her experiences was an opportunity to showcase that shared love and honor her fortitude.”
Lucia will be honored at an award ceremony at the South Carolina State Library in Columbia in the fall.