CHS's Veronica Ely receives state poetry award

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Monday, April 16, 2012
(Photo courtesy Cheekwood Studio)

The Missouri State Poetry Society recently announced winners of the society's annual Winter Contest 2012 Youth Division. Cape Central High School Senior Veronica Ely received an honorable-mention award, which qualifies her work for national consideration in the Manningham Trust Student Poetry Contest, sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Ely was also recently named a National Merit finalist--one of the highest scholastic honors bestowed on high school seniors. In December the Cape Girardeau Public Schools Board of Education named her a "Terrific Tiger" for her leadership, scholarship and service to others. Cape Central High School English Teacher Abigail Beckwith entered the poem on Ely's behalf, pointing out that, "Veronica wrote in the very technically-challenging form of a 'villanelle,' a highly structured nineteen-line poem with two repeating rhymes and two refrains." The poem is reprinted below.

Modern Eve (a villanelle)

Haunted by the wraith of words left unsaid,

a garden where not just an apple grew.

Serpents' whispers slither within my head.

Hiding my feelings beneath foreign threads

of leaves and of lies where nothing is true.

Haunted by the wraith of words left unsaid.

Deaf to the voices of those overhead;

Reality changes the world I knew.

Serpents' whispers slither within my head.

No longer innocence within our bed

with his betrayal making us taboo.

Haunted by the wraith of words left unsaid.

Suspicion of my man fills me with dread

while my feelings fester. He has no clue.

Serpents' whispers slither within my head.

Trapped in my mind, a venom will spread

Till I'm consumed with agony all through.

Haunted by the wraith of words left unsaid.

Serpents' whispers slither within my head.

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