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Schneider is Sandburg Poetry Contest Winner
Schneider is Sandburg Poetry Contest Winner

CDS Congratulates Eva Schneider ’25:

2019 Sandburg Poetry Contest Winner

We are pleased to announce that Eva Schneider ’25 took first place in the annual Carl Sandburg Student Poetry Contest, sponsored by the National Parks Association and the Carl Sandburg home in Flat Rock, North Carolina. Her work was one of 148 submitted from middle school students nationally. The other entries honored in the middle school category are from Jersey City, New Jersey (honorable mention); Charleston, South Carolina (third place); Fairfield, Connecticut (second place); and Atlanta, Georgia (people's choice).

Eva was invited to attend and read her winning poem at a reception held in Hendersonville earlier this month in the Blue Ridge Community College auditorium. 

The original poems are on display at Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site until the end of April for National Poetry Month.

The theme for 2019 was "Joy," inspiring students to write a poem about where they find joy. The theme was based on a poem by Carl Sandburg with the same name. The theme of “Joy” reflects Sandburg’s observation of joy in humanity. From celebrations to daily routines, joy can be found everywhere. Students were invited to think about what “joy” means to them. Have they experienced joy in a grand celebration, a simple moment, or found joy amidst a difficult circumstance? The winning poems allow us a glimpse into where these students find their joy.

Joy of an Owlet

By Eva Schneider

small white owlet


lifting her delicate, feather-laced wings

to try again, to reach the sky

many times before

the owlet has stumbled

failing day after day

the ground looks far

and the sky


but a seed of hope rests in the tiny

gently beating

heart of an owlet

a push of her legs

off she begins

this could be the day she reaches the sky

a biting wind

and the owlet has lost balance

the familiar tumbling spin begins

but the gust of air catches her

in the delicate creases of her wintery-white wings

it lifts her high,

and she soars

slowly, naturally,

her wings pump to an invisible rhythm

a song from heaven only she can hear

great joy fills her heart

for joy

is to fail a million times over

and then,

just once,


The Sandburg poetry contest is announced in December of each year with entries due late February. The contest encourages young students to write poetry based on a theme which changes each year. Educators may submit original poems written by their students. Submissions may be written in any style, and are judged within grade categories, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. source Congratulations to Eva on this remarkable accomplishment.

#cdslearns #cdscreates #wildcatpride #journeyofexcellence