Shannon Sweeney, a talented A Level Literature student at Cronton Sixth Form, is celebrating after her fantastic poetry piece ‘On Things That Should Be Dead’ was longlisted for the University of Oxford’s prestigious Tower Poetry Competition.
The Tower Poetry Competition is the UK’s most valuable prize for young poets that sees 16-18 year old students put their literature skills to the test as they create a poem from scratch based on a given theme. The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Trees’.
Shannon is an avid member of the Creative Writing Club at Cronton Sixth Form and used this time to begin work on her piece for the competition. The former Wade Deacon High School pupil put in many hours both during the extra curriculum sessions with tutors and at home which really paid off.
This is the second time this academic year Shannon has celebrated creative writing successes, as she was recently shortlisted for the Frank Moran Young Writers Award which is still currently ongoing.
English Literature Tutor at Cronton Sixth Form, Stephanie Power said, “I am so proud of Shannon and what she has achieved so far during her time at Cronton with the Tower Poetry Competition and the Young Writers Award.
“She always works extremely hard both in class and during extended learning hours, she is an absolute pleasure to teach.”
On Things That Should Be Dead by Shannon Sweeney
Divinity, smoked and sickly, roams the slow-flowing
Blood of those with limbs strong enough to carry
Them through the wreckage of cedar-stained memories.
The world, still hot with exhaustion – still weeping,
Will, in a loop of twenty days lived over again,
Perpetuate the cruelty, deny the relief gifted by cold
Waxen leaves on fresh shoulder wounds.
Not a single cursed lash, that grew long and darkened in the sun,
Will fall from the jealous eyes of those who see the final twitches
Of the last butterfly’s wings, stretched thin and
Crushed against the rotten stump
Of a memory long-dead.
The seamless horror of a jade-dipped early morning – with stitches
Tiny and tucked tight – that pushes the window ajar
To feel the sharp, singing, sting, of a living breeze on
Half wilted veins.
It would seem there is no salvage for such
The never-revered willow stands, garroting
On roots ran dry. The bright blink of bloodshot eyes have taken
The place of the larks that used to sit.
Etch it into yourself, carve against the grain of your core,
Let the rings beneath your pupils
Tell the number of years you have not known how to breathe.
Do not give way to a symposium of grief, because
Things are better without the burden of fickle tear
Against loveless cheek.
Deer with cracked hooves, thorn-torn and frozen blue,
Will tell you of the despair that could not be escaped by
Those who spent too long wandering through forests, those
Who got lost in the trees.