CityWest was the suitably grand setting for the ceremony at which Second Year Joymarita Rajinikanth received her first place prize in the Junior Cycle section of the National Wellread Poetry Award.
The prize itself was a very impressive engraved silver plate, but the real treat was the opportunity for Joymarita to read her poem aloud to the gathering of students, teachers and academics. Joymarita’s English teacher, Mr. Seamus Gallagher, was there, as was her friend and classmate, Julia O’Callaghan. Instead of us waxing less lyrically about Joymarita’s gifts, we have decided to let her speak for herself. Her prize-winning poem follows, as well as a video of her reading at the prize-givng ceremony.
by Joymarita Rajinikanth
I have spent hours upon hours,
Willing it to be,
But the Oh so simple truth is,
I am not made of poetry.
When the script in my head goes blank,
Sweet words fail to roll off my tongue,
In their place come mumbled sorrys,
Sentences not yet carefully strung.
Like that book upon my mantelpiece, untouched for years,
My covers tattered and worn,
But that’s okay because for every loved word,
There stands a page of smudged ink, bedraggled and torn.
My hair never sits prim and proper,
Unlike a poem, sitting neatly on its line.
And occasionally, I feel like a word,
Too complicated for people to define.
I am not a caterpillar discovering its inner butterfly,
Nor am I a bird of prey defeating its competitor.
I’ve realized I’m simply too complex,
To be crammed into one common metaphor.
I like taking my time to think,
Since my thoughts don’t all have to rhyme.
And although a poem once written is eternal,
I have the freedom to change over time.
I contain more emotion than can be written onto a page,
There is no title across my forehead saying ‘This Is Me.’
I can’t be locked into pages of a notebook,
Because I, I am not made of poetry.