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  • Tilly Healing-Perry

Winner's Comment

It is with great honour and pleasure that I get to write this, after having helped to judge The Spark’s 'Metamorphosis' spring contest and after winning the previous contest. Each entry approached Metamorphosis as an overall theme in such a different way, which made some quite difficult to compare. Alas, we had to come to a decision—and we are confident that it was the right one.

The winner of Metamorphosis—and the winner of a copy of ‘A Little Life’, by Hanya Yanagihara, and a collection of L’Occitane products—is...‘The Allure of a Fallen Flower.’ A big congratulations! This piece is so touching and describes the desire for a lack of human condition in such a way that it brought a tear to my eye on the first read. I am sure it is also how we've all felt at some point, as we mull over the inevitability of an ending to the human state, whether we are thankful for that or not. It took a second read to truly realise the amount of imagery encompassed in the short piece, juxtaposing the torture that nature faces to the freedom of no longer feeling human. Somebody else on the judging team commented that the piece slayed, and I certainly don’t disagree.

Congratulations to the authors of ‘The Sleeper’s Debt’, ‘Branches Intertwined’, and the photographer of ‘when I was six, I lost a tooth and couldn’t stop running my tongue over the gap’ as the runners-up, whose pieces will also be published on The Spark’s website. Again, each entry approached the theme so differently and creatively, and everybody should be proud of themselves for their efforts.

‘The Sleeper’s Debt’ encapsulates a need for belonging: as the voice turns to the nighttime to fulfil this need and soon has to tackle some difficult truths of their own, realising that the human condition is not all that it seems. It is beautifully written and reminds me of the liminal state between closing your eyes and falling asleep, knowing that any second the quiet can become sinister with a single thought.

‘Branches Intertwined’ discusses the taking from nature to provide for humanity through a delicate poem. It builds on the idea that a human child is not more important than a child of nature. The poem does not shy away from painful imagery and nor should it. I viewed this poem as an allegory for how nature and humanity should be working together to save each other.

‘when I was six I lost a tooth and couldn’t stop running my tongue over the gap’ is a beautiful visual that compasses the involvement of humans within nature. I was very struck by this piece and the harsh reality that it is trying to convey, mostly through the title. The loss of a fallen tree that is soon taken away is the same to nature as what a missing tooth is to a human.

Thank you again to everybody who entered the contest—and thank you to the amazing members of The Spark team who made this possible! Remember that it is not too late to get involved. We welcome anybody who has an interest in joining the newspaper: it is always amazing to have new student voices.


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