Sophia wins poetry competition and performs at Sydenham Arts event - Sydenham High School

Sophia wins poetry competition and performs at Sydenham Arts event


Year 10 student Sophia Michael has won Sydenham Arts’ first ever poetry competition with a poem that tackles the issue of ageing.

Fifteen year old Sophia’s poem Antique was selected as the winner by judge and local poet Isabel White not only for its moving nature but for Sophia’s discipline in producing six stanzas of perfect haiku verse.

The competition attracted an unprecedented number of entries on the broad theme ‘Girls Allowed’ . Writers of any age or background were invited to submit their responses in 40 lines or under. Commendations also went to two other Sydenham High girls: Evie Newton and Edith Alderton.

As part of her prize Sophia had the honour of sharing the stage with spoken word poet Deanne Rodger at the first show of the Sydenham Arts Summer Festival (Thursday 6 July) and then performing her poem to the audience. Her performance was met with rapturous applause and acclaim from both Deanne and the event host – poet, teacher and writer, Joe Duggan. Sophia also got the opportunity to quiz Deanne and Joe about their work and Joe said her searching questions confirmed her as a true poet.

This is Sophia’s poem:-


I sit back and watch

the energy I once had

sprinting back and forth.


I want to take part

but my age suppresses me.

I plainly observe.


I feel I am used

to accompany the child

rather than to care.


I scarcely notice

the woman I have become –

feeble and fragile.


But not a woman,

more of an antique

judged by my facade.


But not an antique,

as my worth has fled with age.

I’m left with nothing.

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