Sheffield schoogirl crowing about poetry success

Poetry winner, Imogen Cassels.
Poetry winner, Imogen Cassels.
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A SONNET inspired by two lovebirds spotted in a Sheffield school’s grounds – and penned by a city teenager – has won a national poetry competition.

Imogen Cassels’ Crow’s Sonnet was chosen by Julia Donaldson, Children’s Laureate and author of the award-winning The Gruffalo, as winner of the RSPB’s 2012 Wildverse poetry competition.

The 16-year-old’s entry, described as an ‘ambitious’ poem about the love of two crows, shone out from hundreds to triumph in the contest’s over-eight age category.

Imogen, a Tapton School pupil from Broomhill, said: “It’s amazing to have won the award, especially from Julia Donaldson, whose books every child has picked up and read.

“The sonnet was inspired by a moment in an RE mock exam when I looked out of the window and could see this couple of crows.

“It was a beautiful day and the light was shining.”

The annual competition is held in partnership with Fun Kids radio station and Pure, the radio manufacturer.

Head judge Julia said of Imogen’s entry: “It’s an ambitious and successful sonnet about the love of one crow for another.

“The poet captures the clumsiness and comic characteristics of the birds, as well as their beauty.

“There was some wonderful descriptive language in this poem – ‘oily jewel’ and ‘ragged croaking’ – which really brought the birds to life.”

Crow’s Sonnet, by Imogen Cassels

A typical lovebirds we, two bat black

lumps, weighing on a branch. but sun is bright

for February, and lights up no lack

of love in me, for you. you are as right

as rain, no nightly colour nestles now

in your soft, soft feathers, just charcoal shades

to gloss you up, upon a skinflint bough.

my oily jewel, queen of silver leaves, blades

of grass. I love your clumsiness, flying -

your heavy wingbeats, but most of all

your ragged croaking, or singing sighing,

it is to me. your eyes, so sharp, enthral.

crows, approximations of sweeter birds,

not lesser, we just woo in darker words.