"Power of Poetry" Winner Announced

May 6, 2020

Congratulations to TCC student Sydney Arnold whose poem, “Silent,” was selected as the virtual “Power of Poetry” contest winner.

Sydney, who graduates in the Spring of 2021 with an associate of technology, said the main idea behind her poem was to help readers realize “we all have so much to stand up for. Silence can immobilize us; prevent us from improving global/local issues. Any voice can add volume. No one is irrelevant. But, speaking out without experience or knowledge can be harmful no matter how well-intentioned.”

“Twenty-one poems were submitted and reviewed by a panel of five judges, who were free to use whatever internal criteria they wanted to judge scores, as long as they were consistent,” explained TCC Librarian Adam Brennan who teamed up with Randii Harrald, assistant director of Wellness Services, to offer the poetry contest for students.

“Judges were not told who wrote the poetry,” added Adam. “All names were removed from the poetry before judges began their review. Each piece then had the highest and lowest scores dropped and the three middle scores added together for the final number.”

“Writing poetry is a great stress reliever so this was a natural pairing for TCC Library and Wellness Services,” added Harrald. “We had many talented submissions and want to thank everyone who participated. We look forward to offering this contest in the future. Keep writing, and stay well TCC!”

Silent by Sydney Arnold

I had more to say when I knew nothing

Experience has humbled me

Knowledge silences my outbursts

Once you learn the truth;

If you’re not sacrificing,

You’re the problem. . .

I have given nothing

Risked no dollar, no minute

Nor emotion, or limb

I’ve lifted no finger or spirit.

Pangs of hunger;

Do they resemble pangs of guilt?

Pangs of sorrow from loss;

Do they resemble pangs of remorse?

The essence of regret rots my soul

Wears me down

Makes me feel empty.

What had I to give in the first place?

What had I to say on any matter?

Am I not the master of my own thoughts?

Except my brain is a slave to society,

My words are not my own,

Nothing I hear is ever original.

My heart yearns for . . .

Substance? Love? Faith?

What? I do not yet know the answer.

For in it we may find

More than relief from burdens

More than hopes can dream.

We may yet discover. . .


Listen to the world turn

How what we deem wild

Never seem to question

Their own existence

The feral indignities we call animalistic

Are harmonious despite is carnivorous nature.

So why must we fight each other

For answers to questions

That have no answers

Except the ones we make up.

Pithy governments

Pithy religions

Pithy Societies.

We do to ourselves

What we fear other will do to us;

Conform us into silence.

No greater rhetoric for silence

Than silence itself.