“The Patriotic Poetry Contest for Valentines for Veterans” that is ran by the organization Operation Love has increased their prize money for this year. Usually, the reward caps out at $100.00, but this year, the top prize will be $500.00. As the name implies, this contest is driven by support of the military. Essentially, each student can submit one poem that is about patriotism. The poem must not exceed 12 lines.
Important terms to make a lasting impact on the judges include: honor, courage, sacrifice, loyalty, patriotism, appreciation, love, and bravery. When it comes to formatting, free verse and rhyme scheme can both be used.
When asked what the most remembered form of poetry would be, English teacher Kevin Parsons responded with “I think many writers avoid rhyme schemes for the same reasons they avoid writing in verse. Rhyme scheme does have a distinct impact on a poem. A simplistic rhyme scheme can make a poem feel childish. A complex but heavily repetitive rhyme scheme can make a poem seem more lyrical. [Edgar Allen] Poe is very good at that.”
While this contest is not very well known, many students are striving to get their poems read. The main drive seems to circulate around the prize money itself. With first place being at $500.00 and third being at $200.00, efforts may pay off.
Parsons advised that students avoid generic imagery but include enjambment. Enjambment adds to the rhyme scheme because it is the addition to the line without a pause or definite break. This will be more likely to spark a different emotion. It is evident that both Junior Anna Frazier and Parsons agree upon the topic selection. Overall, the best advice from each individual is to use something that has a personal connection and powerful meaning.
For Frazier, the topic of interest is clear: “I would write about loyalty because I find it very important. It is a form of respect. People should respect veterans for their loyalty.”
To submit the created poem, a student’s name, school, school address, and a contact number should be written on the back of the poem. After the information is printed, the work should be sent via postal mail to Valentines for Veterans: Operation Love, C/O Link Sparks, 4541 McCahill Road, Chattanooga, TN 37415. The deadline for submission is Wednesday, November 11. Winners will be announced by Friday, December 11.
Whether you choose to write about the national support, or military suffrage, it is a chance worth taking. Calling all poets to represent Central by expressing their love for poetry in this contest to honor veterans.