The Keats-Shelley House McDonalds Piazza di Spagna poetry prize 2006 is divided into two sections, English and Italian, and into three age groups. This year the 5-9 age group was given the themes Hurricane or Message in a bottle; the 10-13 age group "Magnetism" or "A shot in the dark"; and the 14-18 age group "Perspective" or "No-mans land". Below are the poems of the first-prize winners in each category, chosen from 450 entries.

5-9 years age group

Message in a Bottle

A glossy, green bottle,

Rocking violently beneath the salty waves.

It fights through sharks that bite,

And through oceans as dark as a stormy night.

It passes through rocks that crash

And swords which clash.

But it never stops flowing through the sea,

It keeps its secrets hidden.

A girl stands on the sharp rocks,

Gazing into the sparkling, indigo sea.

Seagulls curiously

Crowd round the shining treasure.

A glossy, green bottle,

Rocking violently beneath the salty waves.

Her body freezes like the winter sea.

Her heart thumps and seems to shout out loud.

What secrets could be curled up inside

This tiny green world?

What mysterious things could be

Locked up behind the green glass walls?

Plucked from the water

The cork removed

The bottle slips,

And the green world shatters

Upon the evil sharp rocks.

With the bottle, a spell breaks.

A secret is unveiled.

All that time and travel hiding its wonders,

But now it has ended,

Hope has been dashed.

Glossy green bottle,

Rocking violently beneath the salty waves.

Sent by someone

Ending nowhere.

Livia Bresciani (9)

St Georges British International School.

Messaggio nella bottiglia

Messaggio nella bottiglia

ti sei affezionato ad una conchiglia.

Viaggi nel mare

guardi laggi e stai a pensare.

Persone perse che vuoi aiutare

che non sanno nuotare

in modo che possano di nuovo sospirare

e tornare a vivere o anche a cantare.

Mi raccomando non affondare,

qualcuno morir nel mare.

Messaggio non ti mettere a giocare

altrimenti finirai nei guai

e ti arrabbierai.

Ovunque andrai

qualche cosa di buono porterai

apprezzo il tuo pensiero

e ne vado molto fiero.

Andrea di Caccamo (9)

Britannia International School.

10-13 years age group

A shot in the dark

A dignified gentleman

Went into the night

Surrounded by cinnamon air.

The sky was shrouded

By a starry black cloak

But he did not seem to care.

He whistled a tune

And looked up at the stars

That waltzed to a symphony.

He twirled his moustache,

Took his bowler hat off,

And smelled the night gleefully.

He was not aware

That behind him now

A stranger stood in wait.

The old man knew not

That some time soon

This fellow would decide his fate.

The stranger leapt out

And lunged at his prey

As the stars watched silently.

A muffled bang

Was all that could be heard

As a zephyr blew delicately.

The old man cried out

And fell to the ground,

His eyes sprung open wide.

He trembled a bit,

And shook, and bled,

While the oak trees moaned and sighed.

A dog barked in the distance,

A hat flew with the wind,

And a body twitched on the ground.

Then the bowler-hat man

With the curled white moustache

Uttered one last sound.

Swirling around

In a pool of blood

The strangers reflection lay.

Another job done well.

The man looked to the night

As he turned and walked slowly away.

Sofia Orlando (13)

Ambrit Rome International School.

Uno sparo nel buio

Unemozione che non voglio spiegare

e che comunque non saprei affrontare.

Mi fa soffrire,

mi fa morire.

A volte non resisto,

a volte non capisco.

Non credo vorrei capire,

direi di voler solo sparire.

Sparire, come uno sparo nel buio.

Vagare senza sapere dove andare.

Andare senza una destinazione.

Svanire nel nulla

Mai pi parlare,

mai pi ballare,

mai pi ridere,

mai pi rivivere.

Cos mi sento,

cos mi pento,

cos io sparisco

come uno sparo nel buio.

Virginia Cavedoni (13)

Ambrit Rome International School.

14-18 years age group

No-mans land

Grant me a place to be,

A latitude for my rumination.

Vast moments of never ending lust,

Engage in a war where love is never peaceful.

We shall have our no-mans land,

Where we can collect our fallen.

We regret. We accuse.

The rest-room for ruthless nonsense,

That very strip of serenity:

No-mans land.

I call a truce for an instant of sobriety,

The parting line for two raging passions is drawn,

Filled with silence and emptiness.

Shot after shot you fire at me,

Im raw, and yet Ive not gone.

Ill never abandon this battle.

In loves no-mans-land,

Other entities are but another breeze.

Alex Bellotti (16)

Impington College (United Kingdom).

Terra di nessuno

Nel brillante azzurro del cielo,

volano liberi, cantano,

giocano col vento felici gli uccelli

Lo sguardo di un emigrante,

perso nellimmenso del cielo azzurro

si guarda intorno in silenzio

In una mano la sua valigia,

dentro ad essa pezzi di speranza

e desideri

Il suo cuore chiuso nel petto,

come una perla chiusa dentro la conchiglia,

buttata sta Poverina!

Nellabisso profondo di unanima spezzata

Negli occhi tristi e senza luce

non scorre pi il succo della vita

Lacrime amare e dolorose

di sofferenza nei suoi occhi

ormai fanno parte

Nel brillante azzurro del cielo,

volano liberi, cantano,

giocano col vento felici gli uccelli

Il loro canto fa pi profondo

lazzurro del cielo

e pi immensa la sua sofferenza.

Il suo sguardo accarezza lorizzonte

gli alberi in germoglio

lulivo verdeggiante

i fiori che sbocciano,

risplende nei suoi occhi

limmensa natura!

Viaggia il suo sguardo

accanto al vento

in una terra

dove lerba sempre verde,

dove i fiori sono sempre fioriti e profumano di Primavera

dove il cielo sempre azzurro

dove le api succhiano il nettare allinfinito

dove la terra miele

dove regna la pace.

Il suo sguardo accarezza

gli uccelli in volo

e lui per un attimo

respira la libert

e lascia la sua quiete solitudine

nellargine del suo cammino

per volare insieme a loro

nella terra di nessuno.

Marela Pronjari (18)

Istituto Magistrale M T Varrone.

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