• Carl Sandburg Home Spring

    Carl Sandburg Home

    National Historic Site North Carolina

2011 Poetry Contest Winners

3rd-5th Grade Results

Third Place
Roanoke
By Sajaan Patel
Croatoan, Croatoan, Croatoan,
What can the carvings mean?
Maybe there is a reason no one has found it,
Maybe there is not.
But for all I know,
It could be a trick,
Or it could be a treat,
For whoever dares to play
May seek other than exhilaration.
The Spanish Armada with its glowing sails,
The British settlers with their greed,
The Secotans with their warrior hearts
All come to one fate, destruction.
The victory is in the hands of Britain,
For now the celebration is worthwhile,
Yet they know not of the fate to come.


Second Place
National World War Two Stars
By Hannah DiBella
Imagine, can you?
The stars, the people, the deaths
Freedom Wall, 24 bronze panels,
56 granite pillars
Imagine, the National World War Two Memorial

Imagine, can you?
Rainbow pool,
With the arches looming above,
The children, merry, splashing up and down
Imagine, the National World War Two Memorial

Imagine the deaths.
Memorialized by a star for every
100 American soldiers dead
4,048 stars in all
Imagine, the National World War Two Memorial

"Here we mark the price of freedom"
This, is the National World War Two Memorial


First Place
Ghost Town
By Reagan Cox
Dreary worn out
silent
House falling apart
day by day
Where amusement parks are
ahhhhh.
Children screaming their
lunqs out
A place where lovers
loved
Broken hearts were
stitched together, again
Weddings were held
I do!
Houses were bought
Cha-chinq!
Fiqhts were fought
Pow! Pow! Pow!
Wolves howled at the moon
Howl! Howl!
Rumors were spread
Did you hear that... ?
Where proposals happened
Will you marry me?
Now it's just a sad
Old ghost town!


People's Choice
Grandfather's Farm
By Ruben Gonzalez-Estrada

On a sunny day, grandfather was very sick
He went to bed to lie there and stared at the ceiling and looked sad.
At first I thought and thought
he was dead because I was 6 years old.
I used to live with my grandpa
on a small potato farm in Wyoming.
It was hard work living on a potato farm,
but it was also a lot of fun
especially when grandpa felt like playing.
Like the time grandpa dressed up as the scarecrow
and scared the living life out of me.
It took me an hour to catch my breath,
boy did we laugh.
Grandpa laughed so hard he cried.
And when he cried
his beard filled up
with tears.


6th - 8th Grade Results

Third Place
New York City
By Mary Steele
Welcome to New York City
Place of wonder, place of dreams
Times Square will surround you with television screens
The Empire State Building's steps numbering over one-hundred
sixteen.

The busy people passing by
Some alone, some side by side
Some young, and some old
Some about to have their future unfold.

The people walk and talk 'til night
And then, the city's aglow with lights
That gleam and shine on the bay
Welcoming ferries that cross the way.

Some going across the water to where the statue stands
That holds our country's liberty in her hands.
You can take the stairs up inside her base
Then enjoy a view of the Manhattan place.

Take a walk down Broadway, and you'll find
A view of the world from an actor's mind.
Winter Garden's crowded with people out front
Phantom of the Opera is playing this month.

In the winter, Central Park's covered in snow.
So many step inside the nearby bistro.
People are talking, some drinking fine wines.
They're all laughing, having a good time.

In the spring, the park's alive with people,
Walking, or jogging, but everyone peaceful
The creatures calm, the water still,
As someone throws bread, the birds try to get their fill.

Well, that was your tour, won't you come back and visit?
You've seen nothing yet, oh, just for a minute?
Broadway to Wall Street, there's so much to see,
And I think that you'll love it, just like me.


Second Place
Hudson River
By Emma Bruce

Hudson River

Placid and tranquil

Hudson slowly trickles by

With Iroquois tears


First Place
Call of the Outer Banks
By Jessica Strickland

She calls to me.
Welcoming me into her arms,
Like a child in its mother’s embrace.
The sun watching over me,
Filling my heart with warmth.

The sound of the waves are a lullaby,
Beckoning me to come further,
Calling out so lovingly to me. Only me.

Her moods swing so often,
Like the flow of a thought-out symphony.
She cries and it rains, she laughs and it shines.

And with devastated whines, she lashes out into the night.
Calling the waves higher, and higher,
For it is winter and she has been deserted.
Leaving her alone, surrounded by the lack of life.

Yet summer rolls around; visit her again.
With the same eagerness as the last time we came face to face.
And once again, she and I both slip into that sweet, desired tranquility.

For she calls to me.
The Outer Banks call to me.
And when she calls, I listen.


People's Choice
Boston
By Laura Exar
Soul of America
Heart of the Harbor
Aroma of fish awakens
Tired cobblestone streets.
Home to sweet Boston Creme Pie
And flavorful clam chowder.
Shouts from nearby parades and festivals
Our patriotism stands strong
Even when our fireworks fade away.


9th - 12th Grade Results


Third Place
Billboards
By Dion Mills

I sat there with my head cocked as the bus drove by, and all the beats throbbed in time.
It was selfish to think as a butterfly passed that the world would lift up its skin and turn to ash.
But I sat there, indeed, with my head toward my right, and the pictures began to blur and the paint took to the sky.
Like being in space, our hearts floated up and met before the billboards erupted as we waited for the colors to rain from the air like dew on the grass as drops in our hair.
It’s a picture in time while your words begin to shift and your verbs begin to rhyme.
And with the click of a shutter, the turn of a gear, the sound escapes your lips and the drums stop in your ear.
The world stops its orbit, and the moon turns off its shine, and the world begins to plummet, graceful and benign.
It’s as if there’s no cause but for the outside of a bus, a billboard in the sky fallen victim to rust.
And all the memories of the world can’t save the sight of grey-brown dust consuming every last thing.
In a blink of an eye and a flap of a wing, the dust roars away like a handful of spirits and the last beat of a heart.

We’re far too complacent with our roadside bench or our 4-foot crutch and martini blends to take one step forward instead of two steps back, to stuff a bag full of clothes to replace a click into cataracts.
It’s because there’s a bus up in flames with a woman calling my name, frozen as a billboard in time, that we lose all recognition of the life we walk upon.
That’s why we need a picture on a postcard to remember a setting, a portrait to remember a face, a flyer to recall to the "mind" (more a chasm).
It’s why we need an advertisement to remember a place.

It’s things like all those and times like this where we mustn’t forget the places, just pick from the list.


Second Place
So Many Names
By Rachel Carroll

I think I can smell it.
I can smell his voice.
It’s deep and strong and sweet amongst the
Noxious fumes
The caked blood, the ripped flesh
The smoke and the hatred.

There are so many names.
So
Many
Names
That I don’t even know where to begin.
But maybe that’s not the problem.
The problem is I don’t know where it will
End.

He came home from Vietnam.
My grandfather.
But he brought Agent Orange as a souvenir.

This is the closest I will come to him.
The Vietnam Memorial.
If I stand still enough
Close my eyes tight enough
I can almost hear his eyes.


First Place
Symphonic Skyline
By Lindsay Patton

40° 42’ 51 "N
latitude, 74° 0’ 23" W
longitude. Population 8, 008278
and counting. "The City that Never
Sleeps", "The Big Apple", it has many
names. I like to call it the Land for the
Lost. A home for the Misfits. Each
person casts their own note. A
harmony is found in
the chaos. The day
begins at a mezzo piano,
but it soon crescendos into a
booming forte. Taxis pull the tempo
faster and faster. Bustling streets
fill the concert hall that is Manhattan and
everything is different yet it somehow comes
together. As day breaks there is a long ritardando.
The bright lights of
the skyline’s symphony
shine as the great
Maestro conducts the day into a close. All is quiet.
The melody is forever playing in my head.


People's Choice
Elementary School Playground
By Calvin Compton

Before first grade I never thought I could have so much fun
I never imagined a place where I could freely run
I learned more there than in the classroom
On my elementary school playground

We invented a million different games
We didn’t care that they were almost the same
I learned to run, to play ball, and to hide
On my elementary school playground

Tag turned into soccer
Hide and seek turned into basketball
Friends left and were created
On my elementary school playground

Fifth grade snuck up on me faster than a cold
And before I knew it, I was getting old
I was told I would have to leave this place
My elementary school playground

Some say they left behind their imagination
I kept mine—but I did leave something behind.
That’s probably the reason I’m always wanting to return
To my elementary school playground

Did You Know?

One of many green visors Carl Sandburg wore to protect his eyes from harmful sunlight and other light sources.

Carl Sandburg's eyes were very sensitive to light. He needed to protect his eyes whenever he worked outside and whenever he worked in rooms with incandescent lighting. He protected his eyes by wearing these green visors.