Each year the Keats-Shelley House in Rome holds a poetry competition in both English and Italian for young people. This year the prizes in the English section were won by Adrian Moore, 9 years, in the 5-9 age group, Hannah Rose Friedland, 12 years, in the the 10-13 year old group and Alex Bellotti, 15 years in the 14-18 group. In the Italian section the winners were Flavio De Lucia, 9 years, Tommaso De Benedictis, 12 years, Francesco No, 16 years.

This year the 5-9 age group was given the themes Acrobats or Caught red-handed; the 10-13 group A wish or Levitation; and the 14-18 group Interpretation or Dej vu. Below are the poems of the first-prize winners in each category.

Caught Red-Handed

The beautiful bronze,

The shining silver,

The glorious gold.

The fabulous cop


I run into my car,

Sirens behind me,

A bead of sweat

Runs down my nose.

A block of ice

Runs down my spine.

My heart leaps

Into my throat.


Well! Well! Well!

Says the Constable.

The chief

Will be pleased

That weve

Caught you!

A thousand thoughts

Pop into my head.

A devil and an angel

Appear on my side.



What should I do?

I run!

I run!


Im caught!

The sun stares down

The gods ashamed

I am marched to the poisonous prison,

The deadly dungeon,

The cavernous cell.

A skeleton hangs

Next to the wall.

My food is

Bread and water.

Rats scuttling everywhere.

I feel guilty,

But its too late.

The beautiful bronze

The shining silver

The glorious gold

The fabulous cop.


Adrian Moore, 9 years.

St Georges British International School.

First prize in the 5-9 age group.


Her fingers brushed across the leathery surface.

She put them to her cheek.

A faint, vibrant smell came to her.

She closed her eyes and it lifted her.

Away to the crevices of time.

A soft place where her fondest memories thrived and her regrets

No longer haunted her.

A place where only thoughts

Of Sunday morning pancakes and beach picnics tickled her imagination.

Up, up and away.

She slowly opened her eyes,

Savouring the moment for as long as time can wait.

She carefully deciphered its surface;

The peachy,

Beautifully clichd

Textured layer.


Sunset curls open.

Orange and orange folds lifted to a vastness of papaya crystals

Welcomed her.

She carefully took a slice,

Tucked it between her lips.

And let it fall between her tongue.

The tangy taste was there again

She had risen to it.

She was light

Up above it.


She picked up the other rind,

Felt its surface.

Felt what was her past

And wished for a future.

Hannah Rose Friedland, 12 years.

Ambrit Rome International School.

First prize in the 10-13 age group.


In the darkest corners of my mind,

You wander.

Between the crevices of doubt,

You belong.

My flickering, fluttering feelings,

Caught in my web of musings.

Your face half remembered,

As if seen in the settling dusk.

I see you indefinitely,

In the inmost recesses of memory,

Buried within the endless folds of thought,

Is the reminiscence that you brought.


Amidst the many layers of imagination,

I recall your name,

Or the sound of your voice.

Alex Bellotti, 15 years.

The New School.

First prize in the 14-18 age group.

Colto in Flagrante

Un giorno Alessio,

il mio amico giocherellone,

mentre tutti erano fuori a ricreazione,

si trov solo dentro la classe,

a causa di una brutta tosse.

Niente maestra, niente studenti,

niente libri sui banchi.

Sola, soletta la mia merendina,

che avevo dimenticato ieri mattina,

stava sul tavolo solitaria

che tentazione tira nellaria!!!!

Che ore sono?

Manca poco alla fine delle ricreazione.

E dopo che ho tirato una punizione.

Una certa fame mi assale:

fammi vedere cosa sta cercando Ale.

Corro in classe veloce come il vento

E chi ti vedo dentro?

Ale lento, lento

Che mangia la mia merendina

Ah, Ah lestofante,

ti ho colto in flagrante!

Flavio De Lucia, 9 years.

Britannia International School of Rome.

First prize in the 5-9 group.


La terra mi respinge

E laria mi avvolge

Sento il corpo senza peso

Che strana cosa che mi ha preso.

Tommaso De Benedictis, 12 years.

Ambrit Rome International School.

First prize in the 10-13 group.

Onda Anomala

Onda anomala

questo sussulto di vita

che si infrange in s

Su fredde rocce sale

fuggitiva messaggera

della fame del nulla

Ritorce, contorce

rimuove, muore

la superbia dessere

Onda anomala

fuggitiva rimuove

luniverso ignaro

Francesco No, 16 years.

Liceo Scientifico Statale Benedetto Croce.

First prize in the 14-18 group.

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