Friday, February 27, 2009

Days of Freedom

In the recent Senior English Prize exam, candidates had to answer two sections in two hours: a composition, and a poetry section analysing two poems (Hardy's 'During Wind and Rain' and Seamus Heaney's sonnet from 'Clearances', 'When all the others were away at Mass ...')

Miriam Poulton of Transition Year received a distinction for her entry, and wrote a story called 'Days of Freedom' prompted by a photograph of two boys leaping into a lake. It starts:-

They were a motley bunch, and I knew Mum would find names for them - red-necks, hillbillies, that type of thing. It wasn’t difficult to see why: they were all wearing ragged denim, checked shirts or only a bikini top or even nothing in the case of some of the boys, and all sporting tanned bare feet. One girl even wore her hair in two long sandy plaits. There were a lot of things you could call them and I gave them the politest label possible: small-town Canadians.

Perhaps it was the pale skin, or the fact we had just arrived in a sparkly rented Chevrolet, but the group of young people were all staring at me like I had two heads. “Hi,” I tried nervously.

Read the full story here.

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