Massey English Writers Win Acclaim
Four Vincent Massey Writer’s Crafts students – Sara Burgess, Sarah Khalid, Sophia Savva and Kuchak Shahbazi – made the top 20 shortlist for the CBC’s Shakespeare Selfie Challenge. The contest asked students across Canada to take a Shakespearean character, situate him or her in a present-day scenario, and write a new soliloquy or monologue for that character. To read the Massey student selfies, go the CBC link below:
Vincent Massey Gr. 11 student, Sophia Savva was selected as the first runner up in the Shakespeare Selfie Challenge. Grade 12 Vincent Massey student, Reem Habib won second prize in the category of English Poems, age 14-18, for the international Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize 2014. Students from around the world were invited to submit poems on the themes of “Crisis” and “Burdens of the Past”.
Reem was invited to Rome, Italy to read her poem in a ceremony to be held at the Keats-Shelley House at the end of May. The Keats-Shelley House is a renowned museum dedicated to the education and the preservation of the work of English Romantic poets.
Read Reem’s poem, “The Burden of My Past” below:
“The Burden of My Past”
Chemical poison flows through my veins, saving my life and destroying it all at the same time.
I drift in and out of sleep because the morphine that numbs my pain has numbed my mind too.
Dreaming about the life I had before this one, a life of freedom and beauty. A time where I was the picture perfect example of a healthy child.
A time when hair filled my scalp and a smile consumed half my face. A time where I could laugh, and play, and run until my legs ached.
This chemical warfare helping me to live when in fact I have not lived. Not since this diagnosis paralysed my inability to do so.
I peek into the curtains where my most joyful memories lie and I find tranquility there.
Angel of life lifts me up and we soar into bliss, only to have its opposing rival bring me down. They’re pulling me this way and that.
They test me and my strength.
They test me and my faith.
They test me and my will to survive.
My now conscious body lies in that cold hospital bed. The same bed that has seen death do its dance many times before.
Swallowed in the opaque black, there is no peak of light around me.
Where is God? Where is that translucent light that guides me to my end?
But there was no light, there was no blissful end. Just me in that bed and the opaque black.