Young Poets Network/PNN Ways to be Wilder competition: highly commended poems. White Wolf by Amelien Fox

Today we are continuing our occasional series of pages publishing the winning and highly commended poems in the People Need Nature/Young Poets Network “Ways to be Wilder” poetry competition, hosted by the Young Poets Network. We are also publishing competition judge Jen Hadfield’s notes on the poems.


This is one of the highly commended poems: White Wolf by Amelien Fox (10)


The snowy ground shines with the white moon

My silent paws are the only mark in the wilderness

The pines tower over the sky further than I can reach

In the distance my pack lie together


But I am alone

I howl to the moon

Letting the anger out of me

All the past I leave behind

And I will go now

Like the silver phantom

I Will run with the song of the wind

Leave my pack

For I am the white wolf


Competition judge Jen Hadfield made the following comments:

This is a strange and powerful poem. Is the wolf an outcast, because it looks different from the rest of the pack? Hauntingly, the poem seems to sing on after the last line…the best poems are often like this. I wonder how you decided on the poem’s shape. You could try breaking up the lines of the first verse so they’re a similar length to the second; or experiment with stitching some of the second verse lines together to make longer lines like the first. Which shape do you like better? Or is it important that the verses are the shape they are now? Whatever form your poem takes, it already sings and already rings true.