2006 Porad Award Winners
Ruth Yarrow, Judge
First Prize ($100)
This haiku is strong because of the many reverberations between its images. As you read the first two lines, the poet takes you to the steep drop-off of a twisting mountain road. But suddenly it’s even more dramatic—the beams from an oncoming car are at the edge of an evening thundercloud that may flash like lightning. Or perhaps the beams of the poet’s car are projecting into space toward the thunderstorm. The towering thunderhead and the mountain resonate with their size and shape and the threat of rumbling thunder or rock falls. In just these few words, the poet has let us step into his or her shoes and feel the excitement and imminent danger.
Second Prize ($75)
the faint pulse
This delicately crafted poem skillfully contrasts light and sound to give the reader a powerfully nostalgic feeling. We feel the faint pulse of someone who used to play those out-of-tune strings, and the lonely feeling of the poet who is left in the waning light. By repeating the light sound of the letter t, the poet augments the delicate touch and faint sound that results.
Third Prize ($50)
baton raised . . .
This is a moment very keenly perceived. In the expectant hush before the music, perhaps a huge orchestra, we don’t hear a sound but instead the personification of the silence in that moth caught in the stage lights. The spiral of the moth hints at the action into which the raised baton is about to plunge.
jar of tadpoles—
The poet has captured a moment so we clearly see the tadpole shadows, probably enlarged by the curved glass of the jar, sliding off the table into nothingness. The fate of the shadows hints at the fate of the captured tadpoles.
summer wind . . .
The lovely image of sailing down the moonlit water is enhanced by the way the middle line could also work with the first line. The length of the moon’s reflection is really only limited by the time the poet spends on the lighted path of water, so, as the ellipsis indicates, both the sailing and the wind could go on endlessly.