2016 Sonnet Winners

This year marked our 19th season for the Anne Dittrick Sonnet Contest. After receiving 109 adult and student sonnets, our judging panel voted the following sonnets as our winners:

Adult/Post-Secondary Sonnet Winner

A Sonnet To Our Dad
By Barbara Van Dyke

To us you were almighty as you tilled
Away the dismal gray of winter's scene
In spring it seemed you lit the sun and willed
The rain to wash the fields in friendly green

When summer bloomed in shades of purple hay
You breathed its scent and caused the southern breeze
To blow and warm the tender stalks of May
Which grew from seeds you spared from April's freeze

In fall you seemed to halt the setting sun
Until the hay was baled and brought inside
Day lingered late until the work was done
And cribs with golden grains were filled and dried

We saw your might in all that you could do
Now we can do, for we have learned from you.

High School Sonnet Winner

Do You Remember This November?
By Julia Briones
10th Grade - Lexington High School
Teacher: Melanie Chesley

Some years ago, in confidence, I told
A friend of hours I spent admiring you.
She fled my side, betrayed my trust so bold.
The very ears not meant to hear soon knew…

Thus ridiculed, sentenced to shame, I fell.
Despite all that, you lent a caring hand,
A friendship promptly bloomed—again, I fell.
Secrets and laughs alike we shared all grand

A reverie of years did waltz on past,
Each wore its own unique color and dress,
But when you came of riper age, you cast
It all aside in spite of my distress.

Although my wounds did heal with Time, I muse,
What mind-erasing medicine you use.

Middle School Sonnet Winner

Curse the Sonnets!
By Kellen McLaughlin
8th Grade - Gretna Middle School
Teacher: Lori Wewel

Why does Shakespeare always write in this way?
Was he precise or merely just insane?
Iambic pentameter makes me gray.
This choppy meter scrambles up my brain.

I never can create a clever rhyme.
I cannot think; my mind is blank and dry.
I try forever, wasting all my time.
Preferably, I’d rather sit and die.

And if you think that rhyming’s hard enough,
Try cramming ten syllables in one line.
It’s pure torture, for fitting rules is tough.
It’s either eleven beats or just nine. 

Shakespeare, that loon, with his eccentric style.

I curse the sonnets, they are cruel and vile.

Adult/Post-Secondary Honorable Mention

We Happy Few
By Robert Ferdinand

Hold fast the stricken field, and on this day
Of Crispin, Saint George be our battle-cry!
In stern defiance now we make our way
By feats of arms, that glory never die.

And though our foe in haughty might arrayed
Would seek to take our lives here in the field,
By blood and sweat the reckoning is made
For victory, and never shall we yield.

Ye men of humble and of noble mien
True valor show! Behold our panoply
In armor bright or decked in Lincoln green.
You know your worth, so now let Dauphin see!

Let our posterity give good report
And celebrate this field of Agincourt!

High School Honorable Mention

By Hope Dowling
10th Grade - Lexington High School
Teacher: Melanie Chesley

The rain thrashes against the window pane
The wind daring someone to step outside
Its pitter-patter sound keeping me sane
The sun no longer keeping the ground dried

My window open to breathe the crisp air
The wild wind shakes the old and creaky house
The electric lightening being so rare
The magical night sky becoming roused

The rain bringing life to a fall evening
Wind shattering the life of the new greens
The rain falling now as I am dreaming
The wind still rattling the window screens

The storm still raging on while I’m asleep
The noise it makes, but I don’t make a peep.

Middle School Honorable Mention

By Virginia Jansen
7th Grade - Westside Middle School
Teacher: Laura Mann

When the sun shall rise through the auburn sky,
and a rooster crows in desolate fields.
When the true and auspicious day grows nigh,
no one but God shall know what it may yield.

For when the sun shall open up my eyes,
and a new era has come to begin.
For when the dew ascends from heav’nly skies,
the earth will quake with power from within.

Whence does the dew break on the morning mist?
Through mountains grazing the feet of our God?
From deep within the crust of earth’s resist?
From ore the ocean flowing from abroad?

Shall the day break through the empyrean?
Forever we shall stay within the sun.