The inaugural Humanities 21 Homer Competition will take place in November-December 2017, and involve middle school students from a number of Melbourne schools.

The Homer Competition includes two divisions: poetry and matchboxes. In the poetry division, students wrote their own poem in Homeric style, and in the matchbox division students created an artistic representation of their poem’s subject matter.

Students who entered both divisions were asked to answer the following questions:

  1. What did you learn from studying Homer’s poetry?
  2. What do you find interesting about Homer’s poetry style?
  3. Why do you think Homer’s poetry is still important in the Modern world?
  4. (If matchbox entry) What was your motivation for designing your matchbox in the way you chose to do?

The winner of Best Poem will be awarded a prize of $150 and the winner of Best Matchbox will be awarded a prize of $50. The winner of Best Poem will also perform their poem at the Humanities 21 Christmas Cocktail Party, on Tuesday 5 December.

The Humanities 21 Homer Competition will run in again in 2018, in the lead up to the 2018 Festival of Homer. Students, parents, or teachers who are interested in being involved or having their students involved should contact the Humanities 21 General Manager Maeve on 0417 464 001 or [email protected] for more information and details of how students can enter the 2018 Homer Competition.

 

2017 Humanities 21 Homer Competition: Poetry and Matchbox Division Finalists

The entries of our four finalists in the 2017 Humanities 21 Homer Competition are below. You can enjoy reading what the students learned from their study of Homer before clicking on the link to read their Homeric poem. Pictures of the matchboxes created by the two finalists in the matchbox division are also below.

Gila Bloch, Year 8. 

‘By studying Homer, I learned about the cultures and traditions back in Ancient Greece. Homer describes practices and values that were important to the people in ancient times. I find it interesting that Homer rarely used ‘and’, instead opting for long, complex sentences that continue for ages. It’s also interesting to read the descriptions of all of the mythical creatures. Homer is still important today as we can learn about Ancient Greek society, and compare their values to ours.

I designed my matchbox to represent my poem, which is about Odysseus and the lotus flower. Therefore, I put a flower on the box to represent the lotus, and I coloured the box in bright colours to represent the colourful, sunny island that Odysseus landed on. Inside the box I have an origami lotus flower, beads to represent lotus berries and my poem in a scroll with sand sprinkled around it.’

To read Gila’s poem, click here. 

Gila’s matchbox

Gilah pic 1 smaller   Gila pic 2 smaller

Gabriel Gilouzberg, Year 8.

‘Learning about heritage and religion is important. As it gives us an insight into how people of different cultures, religion see the world. Homer and Greek mythology are an important part of Greek culture. Stories about gods and mythical beasts are what shape many religions. Learning about Greek mythology, in particular, Homer, was very exciting and informative. I have always loved reading books about Odysseus and the Gods and studying Homer really added to my knowledge and love of Greek mythology. I found Homer’s writing style very interesting and intriguing, and always left me sitting on the edge of my seat. Homer’s style of writing is very unique. He writes poems that don’t rhyme but tell a significant story. Mycological stories are important in the modern world, but not because they inform us, but because we can learn from their writing style and implement their techniques into our pieces of writing.​’

To read Gabriel’s poem, click here.

Hisha Shah, Year 8.

‘I think Homer’s ancient poetry should be studied in high school because it allows for an enriched education that depicts the importance of civilisation to the Greeks, and their code of ethics, such as hospitality. Homer’s poetry style allows the reader to explore the variety of ways a story can be depicted.​ Homers poetry is still important in the modern world as it is significant to our civilization. Homer’s poetry promotes values that are still relevant to the western world, such as commitment to one’s leader.’

To read Hisha’s poem, click here.

Jasmine Shaw, Year 8.

‘I think that Homer’s ancient poetry should be studied in high school because it gives students an opportunity to learn a different form of literature and give them a taste of Greek mythology, history, culture and moral systems through a poetic style. Reading Homer’s poetry challenged my literacy skills to an extent but I gained knowledge and was eventually able to write in his style of prose. Homer’s poetry is very unique and the tone of his writing is vehement. I think Homer’s poetry is important in the modern world because we are isolated of many beliefs and morals of other cultures. Although currently we are culturally diverse, textbooks can be biased, and may not focus on different perspectives – including morals and ethics.’

To read Jasmine’s poem, click here.

Jasmine’s matchbox

Jasmine pic 1    Jasmine pic 2

The Humanities 21 Homer Competition will run in again in 2018, in the lead up to the 2018 Festival of Homer. Students, parents, or teachers who are interested in being involved or having their students involved should contact the Humanities 21 General Manager Maeve on 0417 464 001 or [email protected] for more information and details of how students can enter the 2018 Homer Competition.