21 May 2022

Kilkenny student’s poem wins national PDST Senior Cycle Poetry Competition

Read 'You Are Not Alone' here


Stephanie Dunne won the competition

A Kilkenny girl has won first place in the senior section of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) National Poetry Competition.

Stephanie Dunne’s poem ‘You Are Not Alone’ was written about Covid and lockdown, with her granny Mary Wall in Lisdowney very much in mind. Mary has 11 children, 29 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Stephanie is a Transition Year student in the Presentation Secondary School, where she was feted this week for her big win. Her mother Veronica is very proud, and has high praise for the school for their endless care and guidance to all the girls in the school during the challenging recent times.

Stephanie's granny Mary

Stephanie’s poem praises and thanks everyone for getting through this tough year in her own words. She was also thinking of everyone enduring lockdown and all the hospital staff working so hard. Below is the poem in full:

You Are Not Alone

I know it feels like the world is ending,
However in reality the world is mending
Free from the poison of the modern world
The treatment of which we have simply observed
For countless years we have abused
Ruined, overworked and overused
This place that we refer to as home
We have taken control of, called it our own
So one good thing that we can’t recreate
Is that the world is returning to its primitive state
I know it feels like you are trapped
As if your freedom has been attacked
Watching the clock go tick tock
In an ultimate deadlock
Confined to a single space
Enclosed, encompassed, encased
A nighthawk in a cage
Like an actor without their stage
A songbird without their song
It simply translates as wrong
Nowhere to go, nowhere to be
Nothing to do, no one to see
A change in life, but not a tragedy
As we can spend it with our family
I know it feels like you're in danger
You’ve become scared of every stranger
Counting regulations in your head
Memorising them in your bed
Unable to sleep
The nightmares seep
From the unforgiving night to the day
Listening to what everyone has to say
The news reports telling you the virus was contrived
The news reports telling you it was a complete surprise
Turn off your TV, switch off your phone
You’ll be ok, just stay at home
I know it feels like you’re alone, overwhelmed defeated
Your hope has been completely depleted
Lost in a swirl of chronic anxiety
In this unfamiliar society
Watching the ruthless devastation
For which there is no consolation
The ones who are struggling to survive
The ones who didn’t make it out alive
Each day the death toll feels multiplied
You feel as if all your tears have been cried
An issue that just will not be held accountable
And it seems to have become insurmountable
But throughout this crisis
Remember not that but this
The nameless heroes who fight against this pain
Who continue through the incessant rain
The people who fight day and night
So that another soul can see the daylight
The efforts made by each and all
To bring this to a complete stall
The ones who died shall always be remembered
Their lives and memories forever treasured
I know it all seems cruel but you must see
This is the greatest show of humanity

Stephanie Dunne

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.