A dream of writing a story or poem for Cricket Magazine has come true for Chain Lake Elementary School 4th-grader Quinn Searle. Quinn’s poem, The Owl Whisperer, is published in this month’s issue of Cricket after winning third place for age 10 and younger in a recent contest.
The announcement of the poetry contest spurred him on.
“I saw the contest and thought, ‘I am going to work even harder on deciding what to write.’ Now that I’ve had this boost of confidence, it gives me more confidence in writing other poems or stories and entering them in contests,” Quinn said.
Quinn first started writing two years ago when he came to Chain Lake Elementary. He is enrolled in Excel, the Monroe Public Schools’ program for gifted students. His teacher, Sandra Monson, asks all of her students to submit a piece of writing for publication each year.
“I think students absolutely need the skills of writing to communicate and to express what they are thinking and feeling,” she said. “In the current day, and even more in the future, being able to communicate via the written word is going to be critical.”
The inspiration for the poem came from the Guardians of Ga’Hoole fantasy series by Kathryn Lasky, which features barn owls. Quinn had just finished re-reading the series. “The way the owls acted in the story really intrigued me,” he said. “The way we look at day and night is opposite, and it is cool the way their bodies work.”
In his poem, Quinn compares the differences between an owl and himself, the way each sees the world and relate to each other.
“Poetry is a way to write a story in a quicker and more musical kind of form,” he said. “And there are different ways you can do your poetry. You can make it rhyme; you can just do freestyle, but it still has to have some sort of beat inside of it.”
“Quinn is already a gifted writer,” said Monson. “He is working on a novel this year; and so far it’s knocked my socks off.”
The Owl Whisperer
By Quinn Searle
He is the eyes at night,
I am the eyes at day.
He is the eyes of the sky,
I am the eyes of the ground.
He knows of my place on earth,
I know of his place on earth.
He tells me of the night,
I tell him of the day.
He tells me stories of the sky,
I tell him stories of the ground.
He talks to me on earth,
I talk to him on earth.
We talk to and know each other,
For I am the owl whisperer.