Winners of the 100 Days of Dante Poetry Contest The Society April 18, 2022 Acrostic, Epic, From the Society, High School Submissions, Poetry, Poetry Contests, Terza Rima 7 Comments Judges Angela Alaimo O’Donnell James Sale . OVERALL WINNER . Papa’s Commedia by Nicholas Walz That was hellish—the hulking chopper plunging Through the top: the battered fuselage yawed, Dipped, and dove, while like a lunging weed-eater, The stuttering, feckless blade chawed the trees. There’s no war, nor downed helicopter now. Your trim garden lies well-kept and quiet. And He unworks with care your proud-strained brow. With gentling hand, He plucks out every let. Oh this will be bliss! Your soldier’s soul by Christ’s Word kissed, your lissome arms re-fleshed like His, Your wrist aglist with shrapnel scars, while Christ, Your God and Gardener, takes you up as His. So rest, Christian, beneath His wings; speak cor ad cor. And be Papa then, a million times more than before. . . POST-COLLEGE WINNER . Satan’s Soliloquy A Terza Rima based on Dante’s Inferno by James A. Tweedie Take heed, O sinner. Mock me not nor scorn The so-called flames of Hell, for ’tis not fire That shall consume your soul, nor devil’s horn Adorn your once-fair brow, but self-desire And shameless pride that will receive the curse Of living death within the chilblained mire Of my Inferno’s fallen universe. “Abandon hope, all you who enter here,” Who cross the Styx on Charon’s floating hearse Where Death’s embrace exacts a toll most dear, And unpaid debt for wanton sin comes due. Yet death is not the only fate to fear, For living hopelessness is bitter, too. To spend eternity and be resigned To bear the heavy weight of things that you Once coveted and what were once defined By worldly minds as valued, well-won pleasure, But now in lower circles are assigned As punishment in place of greater treasure That Saints and Martyrs have in turn received In Paradise with joy beyond all measure. While those whom I have tempted and deceived— Whose souls have been corrupted to the core, Who still embrace the lies they have believed— Will suffer for my fall forevermore, As I, with triune head, devour the three Who each betrayed the love they’d had before. With wings stretched forth in search of liberty I beat the air in vain—bereft, forlorn— And bind myself for all eternity. . . UNDERGRADUATE & GRADUATE STUDENTS WINNER . Silver Fire by Gail Kathleen Jardine One staggers at the height, the first vast glance up slate-gray peaks, a citadel of stone uncleft by human hands. Then baser dread: not even death makes this a place to stop, one must trudge on. So climb, don’t sink entrenched in the damnation of despair, climb on until it’s work that’s staggered you. But air, at least there’s that, so much fresh air to gasp; something brisk about walking without the cloak of conceit, something tart in the sunlight, is it cold or hot? Sharp, definitely: living, life flaming itself clear of shame: May we be guided in this long ascent until our dust dissolves into the stars. . . HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WINNER . Stars by Jillian Bober First is a place full of darkness and sin; All souls here are caged by disordered desire. Lamenting and screaming create a vast din— Lucifer rules in this realm filled with mire But though darkness tries, the light it can’t bind. Even when you can’t see them, the stars will still shine. Mountain looms high, it’s a treacherous way. Every soul here seeks to be purified. None of them now in this place want to stay, Desiring to enter the gate that’s not wide. Higher you tread, seeking pure light to find. Though far out of reach, the stars will still shine. Reach the top of the mountain, the beauty reveals Invincible saints, who for Him are afire. Swiftly your wounds and scars all are healed, Encountering the face of the End of desire. Standing this close, the light nearly blinds— While eternity reigns, the stars will still shine. . . NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 7 Responses James Sale April 18, 2022 Congratulations to all the winners – there were many fabulous poems so choosing the winners was difficult. And as a matter of fact, many of the entries were anonymised so we – Angela and myself – did not know who the entrants were! So, I am delighted to offer double congratulations to that veteran and expert poet, James A Tweedie, for his winning poem: I didn’t know it was him until the institution unlocked the key. I therefore have been one of the judges twice now awarding James a prize in less than a year. It says something remarkable about the quality of James’ work and its consistency. So great doings/writings James – especial well done!!! Reply James A. Tweedie April 18, 2022 James, So glad to hear the judging was blind (which I assumed it would be). It makes the honor all the greater. Thank you for the kind words. Reply Andrew Benson Brown April 19, 2022 Should 2022 be renamed the Year of Tweedie? Reply James A. Tweedie April 19, 2022 Lol, ABB, it’s been a good year so far. On the other hand, you should see the “Submission List” that I kee on my computer and take note of all the “Rejected” replies! There are, of course, a fair share of “Accepted” poems as well, but not every poem is a winner—even the good ones! It’s like throwing rocks at a chain link fence. If you keep at it long enough one of them will pass through unscathed! Reply AB Brown April 21, 2022 I have been discovering this fact myself regarding submissions. Fortunately with your prolificness, I am sure that even confining one’s attention to the top 5% of your oeuvre still leaves a substantial body of work to sift through. Mia April 22, 2022 Well done to the winners and to the judges. No easy task for anyone. But very enjoyable for us reading the wonderful winning poems. Personally I am looking forward to another challenge from the SCP. The challenges inspire me to write. I am sure that my poetry has improved since I have been taking part. But then it did need a lot of improvement! This is why excellence is good. It raises standards. Ultimately everyone benefits. So thank you SCP as well. Reply James Sale April 22, 2022 Thanks Mia – that’s great news and very encouraging for us. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.