Hillsboro High School freshman Paige Craney received a surprise this fall with the notification that a poem she had written for a student contest has been published in a collection called ?Accolades.?
?I just wanted to try it out and see if it would work, so I did it,? she said of her decision to participate in the program sponsored by The America Library of Poetr
Craney heard about the project as an eighth-grader in Terry Bebermeyer?s English class. It was a different kind of challenge for her.
?I kind of would play around with words, but I wouldn?t show them to anyone,? she said. ?I thought, well, I?m kind of good at using words to get through to people, so I just thought it would work.?
One of her challenges was deciding what to write about.
?At first it was kind of hard to see what would work,? Craney said. ?Then I thought, let me think about what to write.?
She decided to write about the people who volunteer for military service. Her older brother, Jacob, is in the National Guard and has served overseas in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. He currently is stateside, working in Kansas in the oil industry.
?I?ve always liked the military, and I like what they do,? Paige said. ?I?ve always loved how they?re respected, and I thought they do so much for us, and sacrifice so much for us, I wanted to give back to them as much as they give to us.?
The result was ?Nation?s Pride,? the poem she entered in the contest.
?I wrote the poem for people who lost family members?the soliders who went away and never came home,? she said.
Craney said it took her about a week to write the poem, and then she tested it with friends and family members.
?I kept writing it until it would sound right,? she said. ?I?m actually really impressed with how it turned out.?
According to The America Library of Poetry, less than one out of five poems entered are accepted for publication. The company rewards the top three poems from each of four age categories?spanning ages 3 through high school.
Craney said her poem nearly won the ?Editor?s Choice? award.
?I was just happy I got in,? she said. ?I didn?t expect to win anything.?
Craney has already submitted a poem for next year?s contest.
?It was called ?Fallen Angels,? after the book here in the library,? she said. ?It was kind of similar to that.?
by Paige Craney
Behind the facade of our big egos we constantly do hide
And pride of five letters is only that, just pride
And some will even tell you pride comes before a fall
From life we have been learning from before we learned to crawl
All we have is our pride,
The main thing, which we will never hide.
We raise our flag so high
You can see our pride in our sky.
Pride is why we are alive
Pride struck the pose; the bugle hailed
And bid them stand a little taller ? ?Chest out!?
They?d fought their battles years ago you know,
Standing up together with a rank of
Men that did us proud….
And through attrition in the numbers brought,
The annual tears, comfort always came in
One evergreen line: We Shall Remember Them