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Headshots of the two winners

Honoring Young Poets

Marymount is thrilled to announce that two Upper School students were named winners of the sixth annual Columbia Granger's World of Poetry® Student Poetry Contest. In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Columbia University Press recognizes the outstanding work of high school students from around the country. Congratulations to Marre G. ’22 and Nathalie R. ’23 on this remarkable achievement!

“I’ll Go to Hell for This” by Marre G.
inspired by ““Canto VII” from “Queen Mab” by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I broke a vase when I was six and my mother called me
a little Jezebel
and I had never heard a more beautiful name.
I cut my hand (I’m still six years old) on Milwaukee’s winter concrete
as all nineteen of us left the Christmas mass–
as I sobbed in the Midwestern snow–
as my sleep-deprived progenitor kissed my hand–
She looked into my broken vase eyes and
“See, God would have protected you if you were well-behaved.”
I’m thirteen days from adulthood now
and (God…) I can still see the outline on my palm
where the Holy Ghost gave a child a scar.
The same Holy Ghost my mother loves
with all that she is.
All the ghosts I talk to now are not Holy but Haunted,
and I like the way they float about–
    they don’t expect anything from me.
Religion as a child is different from religion when you’re grown.
When I was six years old religion was
    candles and Sundays and statues of pain.
Now that I’m old I’ve realized that religion is actually
    guitars and October mornings and kissing in the dark.
I have never called myself an atheist,
    then again I was never one for letting go.
Maybe all the scars that Holy Ghosts have given me,
    maybe deep down I cherish them.
Believe me, I would like to believe,
    and I think (I think) I do–
I think I do believe that God protects the well-behaved,
    but then his forgiveness schtick is just a sham.

"Still" by Nathalie R.
inspired by "The Song of Oceanides" by Heinrich Heine

You dove right in,
a sea of ripples rising through the foam,
the force of your fall disrupting the stillness.
Steadily, you breathed and I watched the air from your lungs turn to
Ice. The blue of your veins seemed to surge into the crystal
blood underneath you, its brine
fresh in your wounds and
caught in your throat.
The warmth began to seep from your smile
as your face turned cold.
I longed for the stillness of
the hum of gentle waves,
Tranquility’s soothing sear.
The trembling of the water
ceased and the sky held the promise of darkness.
you remained, your eyes another blue.