The youth division winners of the 29th annual Eagle-Tribune/Robert Frost Foundation Spring Poetry Contest are three young girls who announced the coming of spring in the Merrimack Valley through their talent and youthful poetic voices.
They are Katie Formosi of Groveland (1st place), Caroline Brosnan of Andover (2nd place), and Angie Richer of Lawrence (3rd place).
Formosi is 15-year-old student at Pentucket Regional High School in West Newbury. She won first place for her poem, "The Bookworm's Letter."
With a mature poetic voice, Formosi, a self-admitted bookworm, thanks the books of Langley-Adams Library in Groveland "for lazy summer days spent in air conditioned bliss, for crisp autumn afternoons filled with English and German dictionaries, for quiet winter evenings hidden in the biography section," and "for perfect spring days, both sunny and rainy," as she writes in her poem.
In addition of these wonderful metaphors that praise the importance of books in her life, she ends the poem with the phrase "paradise only achieved with books."
And within this paradise, recently she has been impressed by reading "To Kill a Mockingbird."
"I had read this book years ago," she said, "but now I am looking from a different perspective. This book touches issues such us racism and justice."
Formosi, who had never entered a poetry contest before, enjoys reading poetry. She was exposed to the genre in elementary school when a family friend taught her how to write poetry.
She likes science, history, and English, and takes dance classes that, as she says, "release the stress." Asked about her future, she said she wants to study biochemistry and really likes analyzing things.
Formosi is very excited about winning the poetry contest.
"It made her day," her mom responded.
Brosnan, a 13-year-old student at Walke Doherty School in Andover, took second place in the contest for her poem, "10 Ways of Looking at a Sunset."
As she enjoys looking at sunsets, Brosnan included her own experiences of sunsets in her poem — at picnics, bonfires and while camping. This experience travels along the poem, starting with the verses "a child licks an ice cream/watching the sunset," and ending with "a lone child separated from the crowd.../looks into the pond only seeing himself and the sunset."
Brosnan enjoys reading — particularly fiction books — and finds historical fiction particularly interesting.
When asked how she decided to enter the poetry contest, she responded: "I wrote 15 poems for an assignment in my English class. Then I picked up my favorite one and sent it to The Eagle-Tribune poetry contest, Boston, and Memorial Hall Library in Andover.
Brosnan loves to swim on the swim team, plays lacrosse, and enjoys spending time with friends and traveling to other places.
The third-place winner, Richer, wants "To Escape for a Day," as the title of her poem says, from the poverty and crime of the city of Lawrence, where she lives.
"It is overwhelming to read the newspaper," she said. "How wonderful it would be without crimes, and I would like to get away from that and to be in the most beautiful place possible."
She tells of a day when she went to shop at Market Basket with her father and saw a man who carried a sign: "Two children hungry."
"It made me so sad," Richer said. "Often I see a homeless man laying in the church yard and talking all day to himself. When I see these kinds of views, I write poetry, listen to music or sing. It releases my stress."
Richer writes in her poem: "A quixotic escape would be fit for my style/a resplendent retreat to ease my tension for a while."
Richer, who is 13 years old, is an honor student in the eighth grade at Frost Elementary School in South Lawrence. She loves science and English, and her favorite book is "Misery" by Stephen King.
"I like romance books to see how people respond to each other where they are put in different situations, and I enjoy horror because I like to scare myself," she said.
Next year, she will go to Notre Dame High School in Lawrence, and she dreams of someday attending MIT and becoming an astronaut.
Youth Poetry Contest Winners
"The Bookworm's Letter"
By Katie Formosi, 15, Groveland
To the books of the Langley-Adams Library:
Thank you for
lazy summer days spent in air-conditioned bliss;
required reading list in hand,
by the end of the day, my
bag is full with an astonishing array of
Thank you for
crisp autumn afternoons filled with
English and German dictionaries,
for banned books, and beloved authors
practically screaming out themes motifs and metaphors
through their favorite method of publication,
Thank you for
quiet winter evenings hidden in
the Biography section (the back corner of the library),
completely isolated yet surrounded by people;
for reading and watching the snow fall,
actions as timeless as the stories in
Thank you for
perfect spring days, both sunny and rainy:
A lawn suited for picnics on the former,
words upon words upon wonderful words on the latter.
Fresh spring air coupled with old, wondrous words
equals a paradise only achieved with
"10 Ways of Looking at a Sunset"
By Caroline Brosnan, 13, Andover
A child licks an ice cream
while his family relaxes on
watching the sunset.
Fiery red, orange and pink
brush the crowd as the
band plays on.
Men and woman fall in love
snuggled up hand in hand
under the sunset.
A lonely women stares out
from behind a translucent curtain
at the sunset.
The gentle eyes peer out of
the nostalgic glasses...hoping,
wishing he had someone to
enjoy the sunset with.
The blue sea reflect those marvelous colors
from the sunset, creating a mirror effect off the
People hike miles, reaching the top of a
mountain, to be the first to see the warm
glow of the sunset
sink below the horizon.
The sunset simmers
the midnight sky glooms above
Fireflies come out
Fireworks explode into the sky.
The smell of roasted marshmallows wafts through the air.
Families gather at sunset
for a bonfire.
A lone child separated from the crowd
skips a pebble
looks into the pond
only seeing himself and
"To Escape for a Day"
By Angie Richer, 13, Lawrence
Where would you go just to get away?
To escape all of life is stressful pains for a day
To forget the ruinous crimes of the city
And discard all the visions that fill you with pity.
A quixotic escape would be fit for my style.
A resplendent retreat to ease my tension a while.
Blossoming flowers like the middle of spring,
Hydrangeas and orchids: enough to make the heart sing!
Birds for each color on the spectrum of light,
It's like seeing a rainbow, to watch them take flight.
The resplendent water tinted aquamarine
laughs the gold-sanded sure with the grace never seen..
After the sunset views my retreat at day's and
I smile at the moon and watch it ascend.