Here are the winning and commended poems in the 3-7 Age Group of the Penned in Poetry competition. The competition was well-received with many entries received from around the world in each age category. The entries were judged by a panel against ten different criteria, including assonance and alliteration, form and flow, rhyme and rhythm, and overall impact. Here is more information about the judging criteria and what they mean.

The panel was made up of highly acclaimed, award-winning professional poet, performer and educator Joshua Seigal, author of the Opening Doors series and educationalist Bob Cox, Potential Plus UK Young Reporter Fran Glover, and mother/daughter team family members Martha and Caroline Hooton-Picard.

The judges commented that the overall standard was very high, and some thoughtful and powerful work was produced. “These young poets have shown us all that there is a huge spirit of inventiveness, resilience and care out there. There is evidence of top-level potential for writing and crafting ideas in so many ways. Authentic ‘voices’ shone through in many poems. What a pleasure to see such a wide age range involved too. Creativity is alive and well in lockdown.”

Winner – First Place

Anya Sopongitjagarn. Age: 7 The Heal

Second Place

Zakariya Mohammad Age: 7 Under My Roof it is Different

Third Place

Marcel Owczarek Age: 7 The Rhyming Poem

Highly Commended

Zakariya Mohammad Age: 7 Unlocked



First Place

The judges commented that this poem really stood out. It is an excellent piece, particularly given Anya’s age.

The Heal by Anya Sopongitjagarn (aged 7)

We humans to the creatures of earth are nightmares
We destroyed their homes and leave them bare
Nothing could escape the wrath of our glare
The world’s beautiful nature has been ensnared

But nature is healing at present
All lives are changing in the environment
In mere matter of weeks, from full moon to crescent
In every direction, the earth begins to mend

Cries of animals were heard as their homes were chopped down with human arms
Only now in the pandemic, people are globally alarmed
Outside our homes, everything is now calm
Human in lockdown means animals are free from harm

While we are in hiding, animals do otherwise
Goats, deers, boars and monkeys are out to roam cities all modernized
They wander around the empty and barren streets
Reminding us of our mean and cruel feats

Ready to reclaim the space that they had lost
Creatures who also call this planet home are now the boss
With no human activities nature feels safe and comes into the open
People watch the news from their cages with deep emotions

The light scattered blue sky is now painted gold, the ocean is glistening
The beach once filthied and swarmed is now pristine and inviting
Seabirds glance down to witness a long lost sight
A parade of rare turtle hatchlings paddling down the shore towards the moonlight

Covid-19 is giving us many lessons to discuss
Look after nature and nature will look after us
Learn to coexist because we are not the only dweller
Everything we do to survive must also conserve nature



Second Place

The judges commented that this poem was really powerful and they especially loved the rhyming in the last two lines.

Under My Roof it is Different by Zakariya Mohammad (aged 7)

Staying inside and washing my hands, the panic has gone to fade
I still see my teachers and my friends, but zoom is my new upgrade
pollution has gone, stars are bright, I can look up into the night
away from the bustle, an opportunity to be reflective
patiently awaiting a new norm, with a different perspective



Third Place

The judges felt that this poem showed a good mix of technical skills.

The Rhyming Poem by Marcel Owczarek (aged 7)

We all fear this time,
so why not make it a rhyme,
to save a lot of faces,
around the world or in different places,
we need to do our part,
and throw a dart,
at the virus,
can’t go out,
which makes me shout,
family and friends can’t visit me,
but keeping safe is the key.
Sitting on my couch watching Disney Plus,
to get rid of all the fuss,
we will always have our thoughts
of the lessons we were taught.



Highly Commended

The judges commented that this poem was short and fun. They especially loved the rhythm of the poem.

Unlocked by Zakariya Mohammad (aged 7)

Virus out there causing dyspnoea
Shaking hands is a horrid idea
Close the schools quick
Or people get sick
Panic shopping – not in Ikea

The world is waging an unseen war
Show appreciation at the door
Exponential growth
Save you and me both
Strange conferences fall to the floor

See Joshua Seigal’s tips for writing poetry at: Tips for Budding Poets and find out more about his books here: Little Lemur Laughing and Welcome to My Crazy Life.

Discover Bob Cox’s Opening Doors series here, Opening Doors to Famous Poetry and Prose and Opening Doors to Quality Writing: Ideas For Writing Inspired By Great Writers For Ages 6 To 9.