Our judges were moved by the poetry of the primary-aged students who embraced our optional theme of Joy. They found a 'true shared humanity' in the things that brought our children joy.
There was an amazing level of engagement in our 2021 Student Poetry Writing Competition where the students were offered an optional theme Joy.
Joy begins with the senses and involves feeling good in the moment. Joy is contagious and, although transient, has a big impact.
On a scientific level, we feel joy in our bodies because of the release of neurotransmitters in the brain associated with pleasurable sensations.
Not only does joy make us feel great but that joyful feeling is thought to boost the immune system and promote a healthier lifestyle. Joy is also thought to sharpen the mind, open us up to new ideas and enhance decision-making.
Each student has a natural predisposition to ‘joy’ and it naturally falls to parents and teachers to make sure that this predisposition is preserved and cultivated. We hoped our joyful theme could play a part here.
Joyful poetry certainly followed, so much so that we have put together this article to acknowledge the many joyful lines, from students in Prep-Year 6, most that did not make the prize list, but must not go unnoticed.
Certain joyful themes appeared across age and gender, a true shared humanity. We have linked them loosely here. Energy and play resonated most with our young poets.
Energy and Play
Joy is bouncing on a spring pulled so tight it’s about to rupture – Audrey, Year 4, Geelong Grammar Toorak Campus
Frolicking in the grass…that is joy – Ray Chang, Year 5, Fitzroy Community School
What makes me happy? Going swimming. It’s a beautiful sunny day – Annabel Robertson, Prep, Fitzroy Community School
Riding on a motor bike is joy for me…
I love the wind flying past me.
It’s just great – Emerson Oh, Year 2, Fitzroy Community School
Dance, letting go, no problems, moving freely to the music – Freya Kennedy, Year 6, Lake Charm Primary School
Racing across the track
Beads of sweat appear on my forehead
Adrenaline pumps through my blood – Magnus Oh, Year 5, Fitzroy Community School
Whenever I think of joy
It feels like I went into a roller-coaster – Adam Barakat, Year 2, Illim College Glenroy Campus
Me gliding through the air
And the thrill rushing through my veins
While on my bike – Luc Ibrahim, Year 4, Fitzroy Community School
Flipping on the trampoline, springing and free
Dancing wildly to a fun beat…
Joy is being me – Paige Ballard, Year 4, Lake Charm Primary School
Play footy, probably in the park – Jaden Khoo, Year 4, Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School
Soft Drink. It whizzes. It fizzes. It makes me want to hop – Fatima Yousaf, Year 5, Darul Ulum College of Victoria
A wonderful feeling to make your heart thump
An inexpressible feeling, prone to make you jump – Sneha Amaratunga, Year 5, St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar School
Family and Friends
Joy, arms embracing me into an envelope of affection – Kaylen, Year 4, Geelong Grammar School Toorak Campus
Joy is when someone plays with you
Or a baby is born
Or a kiss from your mum – Ivan Yang, Year 2, Fitzroy Community School
I feel joy when I am with my friends
They make me laugh…
Friends mean joy to me – Stirling Smith, Year 2, Fitzroy Community School
They are vessels of joy
They hold you together
Keeping you happy
Joy stems from the experience
Of love – Alex Redlich, Year 6, Fitzroy Community School
Mum hugs me
Mum kisses me
Mum is joyful
I give her joy – Hilde Harrison, Prep, Fitzroy Community School
Joy is a thing my friends bring
When we laugh and play and sometimes sing – Stephanie Berryman, Year 5, Fitzroy Community School
I feel happy when I’m loved – Mia Lui, Year 1, Westbourne Grammar School
Share your joy with someone else,
Because if you do your joyfulness inside you should grow, grow, grow – Iris Cui, Year 3, Firbank Grammar School
Joy is a shadow growing bigger and bigger as the sun’s rays shine down on it – Audrey, Year 4, Geelong Grammar School Toorak
Joy is like
a sudden shower of rain
across the dry ground – Ginko Calvo, Year 3, Fitzroy Community School
Joy is when the burning sun set
Painting the sky with pink and gold….
Joy is when the beautiful blossoms…fill the tree with colour and life – Ru Efron, Year 6, Fitzroy Community School
Trees to me are miracles
blossoming in Spring
to shady umbrellas in summer
losing leaves in autumn becoming
frost covered blankets in winter
to me these are joyful wonders – Stephanie Berryman, Year 5, Fitzroy Community School
Animals and Pets
Joy for a bird is flapping its wings
Joy for a dog is someone saying ‘walkies’! – Scott Dougall, Year 6, St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar
Joy is the emotion I feel
When I see my cats in their cat run
That my dad spent countless hours building – Cooper Gillies, Year 5, Fitzroy Community School
What gives me joy is having two dogs.
They are lovely, beautiful, and playful – Jasper McPhail, Year 4, Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School
Joy was when my dog Molly arrived
Her trust that all was well
Her trust in me brought joy to my life – Daniel Won, Year 4, Fitzroy Community School
Joy begins with senses
Lastly, as we wrote earlier, joy begins with the senses. This becomes apparent as we read the following lines:
If you could feel joy it would be soft as a fluffy cloud – Camilla Gordon, Year 3, Firbank Grammar School
If joy was a colour, it would be yellow, as yellow as a sunflower
If joy was a taste it would be sweet, as sweet as candy
If joy was a feeling, it would be warm, as warm as the sun,
If joy was a smell it would be fresh, as fresh as an apple tree
But if Joy is a person …. It would be my naughty sister Joy – Sunny Chang, Year 3, Firbank Grammar School
Fluffy ball of light.
A piece of Joy so precious
A luminous glow – Mosa Alaskary, Year 6, Wesley College Glen Waverley
It blazes deep into your eyes to scare away images of the past – Xavier, Year 4, Geelong Grammar School Toorak Campus
It’s that feeling
That makes you warm and tingly
Inside – Isaac Beard, Year 5, Fitzroy Community School
What I was feeling was real joy
And I was feeling it because
I had got the best birthday present ever – Christian Berryman, Year 5, Fitzroy Community School
A beam of light
A line of hope
The feel of joy – Ailish Craig, Year 5, St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar School
Sitting on my warm bed
On a cold winter night
Playing in the cold waves
On a warm summer day
That feeling of satisfaction – Ilaria Faulknor, Year 5, Fitzroy Community School
Lick by lick…ice-cream brings me joy – Maya Baker, Year 5, Fitzroy Community School
When I first sit down to read it brings joy to me.
I can imagine the story, learn new words – Axel Harrison, Year 3, Fitzroy Community School
It melted when it was sunny,
the ice-cream all over the place
Full of joy
It’s what made us enjoy the ice-cream – Khadya Taleb, Year 2, Illim College
We conclude this celebration with these two lines. We could not agree more.
Joy is a three letter word
But it is very powerful – Mia Mastroianni, Year 2, St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar School