Young poetess from Kings Mountain invited to Disney World

March 05, 2004|EMILY BURTON

Sometimes poetry is its own reward. But sometimes, with enough revised drafts and the help of a very popular mouse, the reward is much more fun.

This weekend a young poetess at Kings Mountain Memorial Elementary School might be traveling to Disney World for the International Society of Poets spring convention and poetry contest semi-finals. Third-grader Paige Yocum and her father Brian Walls were invited to fly to the land of Mickey Mouse today, thanks to a contest the 9-year-old entered on her own.

"I saw an advertisement in the back of an Enquirer book. My granny reads those, and I sat down and wrote the poem. And I sent it in. Actually my mom (Tori Beth Walls) sent it in for me."

"She's an excellent student," said Principal Ronnie Deatherage. "She has a great vocabulary and a wonderful imagination."

As a semi-finalist poetess, Paige said the cost of the trip would be covered by the contest.


Paige said that, if her dad makes it home from his job at Asplundh Tree Co. in time to make the flight, it will be her first plane ride, something she is nervous, but excited, about.

"(I feel) a little bit of both. I feel excited about it, but I feel a little nervous being away from my family," she said.

Excitement takes the lead as Paige talks about the places she would like to go, including Sea World.

"First of all, I'd like to go to the beach," she said.

Her poem, "Music," will be published in a book, she said.

"Music, music in my ear/beautiful music that I hear," starts the poem, which she dedicated to Kings Mountain music teacher Stephanie Simms.

"She's in third grade, but she's reading at an eighth-grade level. She's really intelligent," said her teacher, Heather Mullins. "She is just one of those kids you love to have in class."

Paige has won two first-place trophies for her drawing and writing abilities. "I'm real good at that stuff," she said. "I have written poems before, but only my family knew about it. I've never written anything this big before."

"To write a good poem, you would have to be really connected to poetry and writing. You have to understand your thoughts first, and know what you want to write about," explained Paige. The most difficulty is getting started and crafting a dynamic ending.

"The hardest part was getting to the end, because I want the end to be a good closer. Usually when I get to the end, my mind has just lost its rhyme."

Even if she misses the plane, Paige said she would still have fun. If not hanging with the Mouse, her weekend will include friends, fun and a little TV.

"If I don't get to go, I get to spend the night with my best friend and two other friends, and we're going to watch it on TV if they show it."

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