St James seniors poems blow judges away

The winner and finalists of the St James Three Score and Ten poetry competition were, at back, from left, Chris Dodson, Derrick Law, Gail Barton, Douglas Maxwell, Muriel Leech, Yvonne OConnor, David Anderson, judge Finuala Dowling, Geoffrey Haresnape and Chip Wood. In front are Hazel Sharl, Wendy Vogt, overall winner Ekin Kensh, Adre Marshall and Val Parry. Finalist Kay Sinclair was not present for the photo.

Three years ago the St James Retirement Hotel decided to run a poetry competition exclusively for the over 70s and this year the standard was even higher than last year’s excellent entries, with entrants coming from across the peninsula.

So said judge, poet and novelist Finuala Dowling at the prizegiving on Thursday November 17.

“The standard of entries for the Three Score Years and Ten poetry competition was even higher in 2016 than in preceding years and the top 10 as well as the five highly commended poets can feel justifiably proud of themselves” said Dr Dowling, who has judged the competition from its inception.

“There were, of course, excellent poems about mortality and ageing, but also funny and whimsical poems, poems that were loose and free as well as those that used form exquisitely, love poems and nature poems. Some were local, about the beach we all love at Fish Hoek, for example, and others were stunningly universal in their personal reflections, for example (Mowbray resident) Ekin Kench’s winning poem, ‘Amoeba’.” The winning entries for 2016 as well as those from previous years can be viewed on the St James website: