Masconomet senior Alanna Cahill will have her poetry entry in the National High School Poetry Contest published this fall. There’s just one problem: She’s not crazy about the poem.
“I was surprised because I didn’t really like that poem,” the 17-year-old Boxford resident said. “I submitted it because it’s not so personal. It was a prompt in class and I wrote it for that class.”
Her poem entitled “The Poet’s Necklace” recently appeared in the fall edition of the American High School Poets “Inside of Me” anthology. Cahill said the poem “is about the creative process.
It’s short. It’s only two stanzas.”
But those stanzas were enough to grab the attention of her then-English teacher Rebecca Delmonico.
“I had not written so much in my sophomore year,” Cahill said. “I had her junior year. She would always … say something so nice. She would say ‘This is so amazing.’ It was really empowering for me. She saw something in me that I dismissed in my sophomore year. She is a mentor. She is the one teacher I had that I trusted with my writing. She expected a lot from her students and I loved that.”
“Inside of Me” is a meaningful study of introspective poems written by teenagers from all over the country. It explores what goes on inside the heads of today’s teens in those quiet moments when the outside distractions are finally turned down and one is alone with one’s own thoughts. It is a quarterly publication published by the Live Poets Society of N.J. in conjunction with JUST POETRY!!!, the National Poetry Quarterly.
Writing poetry and personal narratives has been a part of Cahill’s life since she was a young girl. She said writing gave her an escape and helped her through some difficult times.