Eve Zelich (11L) wins Australian Mensa Poetry Competition

Congratulations to Eve Zelich (11L) who has won the 2020 Australian Mensa Poetry Competition for her work, 2 blessed 2 be depressed.

Writing has long been a passion of Eve’s, who said she entered the competition for the opportunity to have her work critiqued by well-respected literary professionals.

‘I’ve been a member of Mensa for six years and decided to enter the competition to gain feedback on my work.

‘I find such beauty in language and how it can be utilised to express thoughts so powerfully. I also see the written and spoken word as fundamental tools for the liberation of the mind and for giving a voice to the voiceless, which is something I value deeply.’

The judges were delighted by Eve’s ability to evoke great hope in what has been a difficult year. In particular, her poem resonated with Chairman of Australian Mensa, Mr Jean-Marc Genesi.

‘I loved 2 blessed 2 be depressed by Eve Zelich, for very personal reasons: my very first clear memory I can confidently date is of seeing a roaring fireplace, I was two years and ten months old. And music was such an important part of my life growing up, I could relate to the feelings Eve so beautifully expressed’ he said.

Eve’s poem is included below.

2 blessed 2 be depressed

the world sings to me now.
i’ve never actually heard it before.
the music sheet of my life was a mess of meaningless symbols,
lifeless characters,
incapable of producing beautiful sound.

as i sit in front of my piano,
i feel like i could be reckless.
like i could break things, change things…even make things.
i could plunge my hand into glittering cosmos
and rearrange the stars to form my name.
but, music, oh music!
i want to do that first.

i close my eyes and remember the fireplace in my house
and how close to it i used to sit.
i remember understanding how easily it could burn me,
destroy me into nothing,
just dust to be swept into a bucket.
but this thought no longer frightens me,
as my soul has thawed.
it now feels warm,
because of the pictures i paint with my fingers
when hitting the black and white keys
in a treblesome chess match.
do you hear that beautiful sound?

i open my eyes
before i flip my music sheet to the first page,
and i watch the quavers rise to their toes,
ready to perform their melody.

when i waved my depression goodbye,
it almost felt like parting with a friend.
but when i part with my friends,
i usually don’t feel so much joy.

Eve Zelich (11L)