Judges Comments – 4th Grade Division
1st Place: Reed Petrowske
The first-place winner is Cole Lewandowski of Columbia. He also attends Immaculate Conception School. His winning poem is called The Cat and he says the inspiration for this poem comes from his own cat, Socks.
Cole enjoys sports, Legos, and Transformers. His favorite poet is Dr. Seuss, and he especially likes Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat.
His short poem was written in rhyming couplets which means two lines next to one another rhyme. See in his poem purr and fur; grace and face; and feet and treat.
Cole sets the scene in such a way that the reader can see his cat in a quiet place with him just enjoying one another. His word choice is exact and clear. Some notable choices are nimble, agile, and delicate. Words like these add a descriptive richness to the poem.
Good job, Cole, and continue to write poems.
2nd Place: Joey Stuart
The second-place winner is an untitled poem about spring written by Joey Stuart also of Columbia. Joey attends Immaculate Conception School.
Every poem has a speaker, someone who tells the message in the poem. Usually, the speaker is the poet. Joey’s poem also has a receiver of the message. His creative poem is written to Springtime.
He uses interesting rhyme. Lines two and four rhyme as well as eight and ten. Often rhyme is overdone, but the little bit in this poem adds zest to the poem.
Joey makes good use of some poetic devices. He employs alliteration with the b sound in Buzzing Bees and the word Buzzing shows onomatopoeia, where the sound of the word sounds like what it is.
Joey’s poem is an ode, a poem which addresses a particular subject. In this case, it’s Spring. Most odes are written with a positive attitude toward the subject. That is certainly the case in this poem. Joey, continue to write these positive poems.
3rd Place: Sami Valleroy
The third-place winner in the SWIC poetry contest is Sami Valleroy of Columbia. Sami attends Immaculate Conception School. Her winning poem is The Little Girl Named Leah Who Got a Dog Named Mia.
Her favorite activity is playing outside.
Sami’s poem is a limerick. A limerick is a five-line poem generally written in anapestic trimeter with a strict rhyme scheme where lines one, two and five rhyme, and lines three and four rhyme. The anapestic trimeter is da da duh, da da duh, da da duh. (The das are unaccented syllables while the duhs are accented. This is quite effective when the limerick is read orally.) Trimeter simply means there are three of them.
Most all limericks are humorous in some way. Sami’s poem is one that should make the reader smile. The last line is especially successful because it draws the limerick to a close in a happy way.
Sami, continue to study and write various kinds of poetry.
3rd Place: Reed Petrowske
The 3rd Place Winner in the 4th Grade Division is Reed Petrowske, a student at Mary Help of Christians School in Chester. His award-winning poem titled “A Sailor at Sea” is poetic in itself, as it makes use of a figure of speech called alliteration. An alliteration is the repetition of the initial sounds (usually consonants) of stressed syllables in neighboring words or at short intervals within a line or passage: A Sailor at Sea.
Reed’s first line, “Oh, how scary…,” is strong because it gets the reader’s attention immediately!
Reed uses another figure of speech in the 7th line of his poem: “pit-pat-pit-pat,” which is called an onomatopoeia. In an onomatopoeia, the sound of the word suggests its meaning. The words “pit-pat-pit-pat” also form another alliteration.
The eighth line, “the rain on my roof,” gives the reader an excellent alliteration also, as does the third line from the bottom: “The smell of sea salt in the air.”
A poet needs to be careful of over-use of an figure of speech in his writing, but in this case, the alliterations strengthen the poem.
Reed’s award-winning poem is coherent and offers a smooth pace from line to line. His closing line is clear and strong.
Good job, Reed!
2nd Place: Laurey Hayer
The 2nd Place Winner in the 4th Grade Division is Laurey Hayer, who attends Mary
Help of Christians School in Chester. Her 2nd Place award-winning poem is titled “The Creepy Barn.”
Laurey enjoys art (painting), creating with Legos, sewing, and being outside.
Laurey does an excellent job of describing the creepy barn throughout her poem. Following each descriptive line, she adds an onomatopoeia, such as “Whooooo,” “Tap, tap,” “Swoosh,” and “Pitter, Patter.” “Pitter, Patter” is also an alliteration.
The 11th and 12th lines of “The Creepy Barn” form a figure of speech called a simile, which is an explicit comparison between two essentially unlike things, using like or as. In this example, the comparison is between spider webs and curtains. Both Pat and I were very impressed by the excellent descriptive line: “draping from the ceiling like curtains.”
Very good work, Laurey!
1st Place: Ty Tindall
The 1st Place Winner in the 4th Grade Division is Ty Tindall, also a student at Mary Help of Christians School in Chester. His 1st Place award-winning poem is titled “The Ocean.”
Ty’s hobbies include creating with Legos and playing sports.
Ty’s poem presents a colorful description of the ocean, as well as a smooth pace from line to line. The poem is cohesive, marked by an orderly progression and an interesting visual content.
The words “splish, splash, splosh” create an effective and enjoyable onomatopoeia and alliteration. Ty’s word choices add entertainment and an overall mood to the poem. Additionally, his poem is well-crafted and etches its subject, the ocean, into the readers’ memory.
Excellent work, Ty!
3rd Place: Vanessa Greene
The 3rd Place Winner in the 4th Grade Division is Vanessa Greene, a student at Mary Help of Christians School in Chester. Her award-winning poem is titled, “Volleyball.”
Vanessa’s first line is strong because it gets the reader’s attention immediately!
Her use of words associated with volleyball, such as “spike,” “bumps,” “server,” and “sets” helps to make the poem believable and more interesting. She also makes use of the figure of speech, the onomatopoeia, with the words, “Bam! Bam!” and “Buzzzz!!” The sound of these words suggest their meaning and make the poem entertaining.
Vanessa’s poem has an orderly progression and a smooth pace from line to line. The two verbs at the end of the poem, “cheering” and “clapping” are simple, yet perfect!
Good job, Vanessa!
2nd Place: Eli Congiardo
The 2nd Place Winner in the 4th Grade Division is Eli Congiardo, who attends Mary Help of Christians School in Chester. His 2nd Place award-winning poem is titled, “Monsters.”
Eli’s hobbies include drawing, reading, hiking, fishing, making things, and welding. What a busy person Eli is!
The repetition of the word “monsters” in the first line of Eli’s poem draws the reader’s attention. Sometimes the repetition of a word in a poem detracts from the strength and smoothness of the flow in a poem; but in this case, it works!
The description and identification of various monsters mentioned in the poem help one to visualize and relate to the monsters. The lines “things that lurk in the shadows” and “the one under the bed” are especially strong lines.
The interest level and sustaining mood in this poem also give strength to its quality.
Good work, Eli!
1st Place: Marlie Caby
The 1st Place Winner in the 4th Grade Division is Marlie Caby, who also is a student at Mary Help of Christians School in Chester. The title of Marlie’s 1st Place winning poem is “The Beach.”
This is an excellent poem of description! The sand is “hot and squishy”; the waves are “big and bubbly”; the seagulls are “flying,” “squeaking,” and “eating”; the “crabs racing sideways” – such excellent descriptive word choices!
The line “big and bubbly” is also an example of the figure of speech called alliteration, which is the repetition of the initial sounds (usually consonants) of stressed syllables in neighboring words: “big and bubbly.”
In addition, Marlie’s poem is coherent and has a smooth pace from line to line, which adds to the pleasant flow, especially when reading “The Beach” out loud.
Excellent work, Marlie!