National Poetry Shortlist Winner 

Michelle Geogy in Year 9, entered in the Somerset National Poetry Prize Competition, last October. This week, it was announced that Michelle was one of four shortlisted winners in the Junior Category. Her poem, “India My Home”, has been published on the Somerset website. 

Michelle describes her poem, “My poem is an ode, meaning it is a lyrical poem expressing or praising, my home country, India. When I first started writing this for my English assessment last year, I never thought it would go this far – to be shortlist worthy. I was trying to express how I truly felt about India, by incorporating nature along with animals and food. Like implementing all significant parts of the culture in one poem! A few of my favourite lines in the poem, are when I introduced the idea of “I love a” which was inspired by the poem “My Country” by Dorothea Mackellar. She was able to execute a poem, that touched Australia overall, therefore I too felt the urge to write one about my home country.

Michelle submitted three poems for an English assessment task last year. Her poetry was a standout and her English teachers told her about the Somerset National Poetry Prize, “It actually took a lot of encouragement to get Michelle to enter her poems! She is so humble. Michelle is so deserving of this recognition and I’m proud of her for grasping hold of the opportunity.” English Teacher, Miss Johnston commented.

 Michelle and Miss Johnston were informed that Michelle’s poem was shortlisted a few months ago, but Michelle found out the final results when she was sorting through her junk emails, she came across an email that said “National winners announced!”.  It was then that Michelle saw her name and her poem printed on a National website.

Genuinely, I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to share my poem to a wider community, and to have the privilege to publish my poem on a national poetry website. I never thought a poem that I wrote for an English assessment, would be shortlist worthy! But, with the encouragement and support of my teachers, I was able to execute a poem that could stand a chance in a national competition.” – Michelle G.

Great work, Michelle! Congratulations, from all the staff at Cedars. 

Here is Michelle’s poem, you can also find it on the website:

India My Home

My heart covets for the natural bliss lush

Abundant full of unrefined plains

Of high plateau alpines and ranges

My love is an unconditional rush


I love a monsoon country

Of temperate grasslands and tropical savanna’s

Of fearsome, forbidding tigers and rugged elephants

Before the stars all destined for me


Where Bonnet Macaques roam for foliage

Above the deciduous emerald green leaves

In which the swooning sunsets settle

Between the scurry of every screech


I love a cultural country

Of dignified dances and compelling history

Of the burst of a warm enticing firework aroma

Within the large assortments of herbs and spices


Limestone, Chromite, Diamonds

Reserves in the nucleus of my country

Yet, the havoc of nature is fatal

Her pulsating breezes gather


Her rage in demand to war

Where flooding bodies gather

And leaves with only a thatched roof in hand

Her ruthless heart never wails


Days drifted among the seashore

Where dimmed blue skies 

Spreads life around the country

And leaves for a new chapter to unravel