English department hosts poetry writing, painting and poster-making competitions
The English department of Loreto College has been organising a string of events to commemorate the death anniversaries of William Shakespeare, John Keats and Lord Byron.
What began in February as a series of competitions to pay tribute to Keats culminated in an event to mark Byron’s 188th death anniversary, on Google Meet on May 21.
Back to Byron:
A presentation titled ‘Mad, bad, and dangerous to know: A brief introduction to the life of Lord Byron’ was followed by a recitation competition of some of Byron’s famous poems.
The audio play The Banished Prince -- written and directed by first-year English Honours student Somoshree Palit -- explored the last days of the British Romantic poet John Clare and Lord Byron. Somoshree also won the competition.
A Poetry Writing Competition was held on May 15, where students submitted entries on the theme “I had a dream” or “The lava of imagination”. Students from other departments like History and Economics also participated, with most submissions being Haikus and Free Verse. “The winning entries of the poem were very well composed,” said college principal Sister Christine Coutinho.
The winner in the Haiku category was third-year English Honours student Sakshi Chavan. Harsha Dwivedi, a second-year student of English, took away the first prize for Free Verse. As for the Sonnet, Somoshree emerged the champion.
Remembering Keats and Shakespeare:
Bright Star, the event to honour Keats, had competitions on painting, poetry writing, poster-making, letter to Keats, and mini-saga. There were also presentations tracing the transformative three years of Keats’s life in the north London village of Hampstead.
The winner of the Letter to Keats competition was first-year English Honours student Debosree Manna.
Melanie Alexander, a postgraduate student of English from Loreto College, won the painting competition for her composition on two Keats’ poems -- ‘Stay, Ruby breasted warbler, stay’, and ‘Ode to a Nightingale’.
Somoshree won the first prize in poetry writing, mini-saga, and also poster making, where she recreated Keats’ life mask, which had been first plaster cast more than 200 years ago by painter Benjamin Robert Haydon.
In a similar spirit, the 405th death anniversary of Shakespeare was commemorated by the first-year students of the English department with an enactment of The Comedy of Errors, Act V. The cast included students from the Economics and Psychology departments as well.
The students also recited their original compositions dedicated to the Shakespearean heroines Ophelia and Juliet. The event concluded with a musical play, Umbra, or The Night They Missed Their Wings, written in iambic pentameter by first-year English student Somoshree, along with a self-composed song.
What the students had to say:
“The events commemorating Keats, Shakespeare and Byron surely made those bards look down at us and smile, that even in death, their legacy is not forgotten,” said Somoshree, who was part of the organising team and also won the Keats and Byron competitions.
“The Byron poetry writing competition taught me that poetry is more than just words. It is the expression and celebration of angst, beauty and ecstasy,” added Prakriti Basu, a first-year English Honours student of the college, who was the joint winner in the Free Verse category.
“It's amazing to see how literature can overpower the pandemic and bring people together from different parts of the city”, said first-year English Honours student Srestha Dutta, who was the emcee for the Keats event.
(Mahima Roy is a first-year MBA student of St. Xavier’s University, Kolkata)
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