Young poet wins national competition

Philippa Crundwell 14,  who has won first prize in a poetry competition, with certificate and prize camera.
Philippa Crundwell 14, who has won first prize in a poetry competition, with certificate and prize camera.

A talented young poet with a love for animals has won first prize in a nationwide youth poetry competition.

Millais student Philippa Crundwell of Smithbarn, Horsham, entered the Animal Aid poetry competition after seeing the opportunity on her school’s ‘Moodle’ website.

TV presenter Wendy Turner-Webster presented the 14-year-old with her prize at an award ceremony in London on Saturday June 16 where her poem was displayed alongside the other winning entries.

Philippa said she has always enjoyed entering creative writing competitions but never expects to win first prize.

“Since I was about six or seven I really enjoyed reading books and writing poems.

“I really like entering short stories and all sorts of things into compeitions. I try not to expect anything. I just enjoy writing, anything else is a bonus.”

The campaign group, Animal Aid, launched the competition to encourage 11-14 year olds to express their views on issues relating to the way animals are used in society.

The theme for year nine students was animals in captivity which provided a particularly inspiring platform for the young wordsmith who wrote a poem about a tiger encaged in a zoo.

“I got the inspiration from things I have seen,” said Philippa. “It’s definitely something that’s close to my heart. I think people need to have more respect for animals,it’s all part of the world we live in.

“I think people should have compassion and understand their point of view not just be self centered.”

Philippa’s poem was chosen for its imagination, creativity and understanding of the issue.

Animal Aid’s Competition Organiser Ben Martin said: “The standard of poetry we received was extraordinary and the winning entries were creative, expressive and bold, cutting right to the heart of the issue.

“Congratulations to Philippa; she created a wonderful poem and richly deserves her prize.”

Taken

By Philippa Crundwell

Vision of the amber rising sun,

As eighteen daggers tread the earth,

Body of grass; of night and fire,

An elegant creature from her birth.

A ruby plucked out of a glittering crown,

Tranquilised, kidnapped, thrown in the back,

Driven away from her habitual forest,

They stole her mind to make her world black.

Glazed over eyes of misted up glass,

Unaware of events; unaware she’s alone,

Taken far, faw away to an alien place,

Stolen from family; stolen from home.

Locked up, confined, nowhere to run,

Eyeing he inmates with large dark jewels,

Pacing, pacing, pacing the cage,

The on looking capturers sniggered, the fools.

Babies sprawled sticky fingers all over the glass

Parents came, and saw, and left then forgot,

Children skipped on by with an ignorant glance,

They let her heart die and her spirit rot.

From a...

Vision of the amber rising sun,

As eighteen daggers tread the earth,

Body of grass; of night and fire,

An elegant creature from her birth.

To a...

Vision of freedom and the wilderness,

Trapped in one room, with nothing to do,

Body of weakness, lost hope and desire,

An elegant tiger imprisoned in a zoo.