Recent First Place Poems from the Annual Shakespearean Sonnet Contest


Reflections in Pools

You birthed us into reservoirs of dreams
The stars, moons and mountains worshipped your plight
Now the stars have set, you slipped through our seams
We gathered as one and wept through the night
Our hands melt together and you were back
We dove inside you and drank from your heart
And then came the tears, they flow liquid black
We swam in your beauty, lost in your parts
Call our names out now so we won't forget
That you were there then and still with us now
Move our hearts over, pretend we just met
And we'll go on living, now we know how
Goodbye to you now, the shadows are here
But when I hear wind, I know you are near.

—Levi Abramoff, 2010

Sonnet in Bloom

The pen they say is mightier than the sword
both cut deep, hold captive and play for keeps.
Engage yourself, let go; never be bored
Page always listening, the pen never sleeps.
Stories abound and poems a plenty
Worlds to explore; whether on wings or feet
No story lives on a page that’s empty.
Writing is pure pleasure, the taste is sweet.
That very last word is no easy task.
Drafts, rewrites and edits, are required
Good literature is wrought and meant to last
Treasured, loved and sure to be admired
Keep a good pen handy, and intent clear
Put pen to paper, draw good writing near.

—Martell Randolph, 2009

For the Leap Year Death of William Shakespeare

What leaves do bud up in the trees above
And banish ghosts that haunt the quad at night?
Is it the time for spring to show us love
And with the bloom the ghosts slip out of sight?
I feel a breeze that twists dead leaves with words
And lets me cling to past while I walk forth.
Oh yes, the song of joy chirps out from birds
And lights the sky to warm from south to north.
If not for poems that link us to our past,
I would not walk and hear the echoes ring
The sounds of plays, the theater world vast,
The death of love and dying of a king.
One hundred fourteen days into a year
He died, and though no longer flesh, is here.

—John Pulver, 2008