2019 Shakespeare's Birthday Sonnets

Grades 10-12


Winner

Leigh Schwab
Hereford High School
Parkton, MD 
 
To Sacrifice
 
The clouds ahead seem naught allowed to lift
To raise from me this wreath of hefty debts;
These heaps, all soft with silt, through which I sift,
Upon me lay, and so repute my rest.
 
With words disguised of their uncouth malaise,
I ask too much: to live, each dying day.
The burden cloaks my mind in heady haze
‘til none is left; just thieves within the fray.
 
Oh, how I yearn for deep slumber as mine—
Conceit as that is stolen in good time—
As aching oaks in winter dream of pine,
A fruitful task, but yet a heinous crime.
 
I mourn this choice, that I must die to be;
Who lends me life, except from me to me?
 

Honorable Mention

Maggie Wang
National Cathedral School
Washington, D.C.
 
[Untitled]
 
The poet’s trance is like another world,
With sun and stars but not with shadows dark,
Where thunderstorms waltz like silk scarves unfurled
And lightning is as dainty as the lark.
The poet’s trance is dangerous and pure;
Its song could tempt the Ithacan to say
More than he should—its wine-dark sea could lure
Even the steadfast journeyer away
From well-known paths and maps among the stars
Into the forest blackened with fall rains.
It tempts us to desire what is not ours
And afterward leaves us with haunting pains,
But poets always crave it nonetheless,
For verse lets us our sins freely confess.
 


Grades 7-9


Winner

Solomon Gold
Takoma Park Middle School
Takoma Park, MD
 
Crying 
 
You choke on flowing tears with blinded eyes,
When growth brings pain and loss calls pain to surge.
Yet, tears ring strong and every person cries.
So, please allow your eyes this solemn urge.
 
Once weeping eyes are dried of silver tears,
A face emerges calm, though knowing pain.
Despair must come and go like days and years,
Now here for times both long and short again.
 
So rise and stand, prepared to see, embrace,
And greet the shining world with heart and soul.
You smile without contortions on your face.
Continue forth and search to find your goal.
 
For flurries ebb, you rise when they subside,
As triumph only comes once one has cried.
 

 

Grades 3-6


Winner

Misha Ovcharenko
Sidwell Friends School 
Washington, D.C.
 
Syllables & Wonder Words
 
A sonnet with a lot of syllables,
Can sometimes twist words inside of your mouth,
They run around your mouth like criminals,
They fly around like birds to the deep South.
 
A sonnet with hard words and many twists,
Can really make your mouth turn upside down,
Can change the amazing feeling to exist,
Sprouting great feelings through you like a clown.
 
But you can learn to overpower that weird,
Odd, buzzy, strange, and annoying feeling,
By mixing words together like a cheer,
At least you can make it sound appealing.
 
Maybe you can work well with wonder words,
But syllables fly away just like birds.
 




Honorable Mention

Isaac Wright
Sidwell Friend School
Washington, D.C.
 
Soccer
 
The ball put on the six-yard line is white.
A pass will get you into open field. 
Don't get caught with a man out of your sight. 
Don't leave a gap in your defense unsealed.
A bad leak could cause a tragic defeat.
The corners are the perfect place to shoot
the ball. You have to work hard and compete.
So, when you shoot give the ball a big boot.
Don’t make a lousy tackle or you’re out.
A thru ball to striker will get you up.
Good teamwork will make for an epic bout.  
Which could lead you to holding the gold cup. 
A perfect shot for the game-winning score,
Will make your huge crowd roar and roar some more.