We are delighted to announce the launch of a new poetry and art competition The Landscape of my Youth, inspired by two great poets from very different lands, Shakespeare and Iqbal.
You may have heard of William Shakespeare (1564 to 1616), but perhaps you are less familiar with Allama Iqbal (1877 to 1938); the national poet of Pakistan. Both poets were inspired by the beauty of the lands of their birth, by the ‘precious stone set in the silver sea’ (Shakespeare) or the ‘cloud swaying in excessive joy’ (Iqbal).
We invite today’s young writers and artists to craft either a poem or a piece of visual art about the landscapes of their youth. Be they town or country, in the United Kingdom or further afield.
The competition is open until 1 May 2017 and three winning entries from each category (poetry and art) will be showcased during the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry festival (18-25 June 2017).
Looking for inspiration? Here are some examples of what Shakespeare and Iqbal said after being inspired by the natural world around them and the lands of their birth.
Shakespeare wrote of England:
‘This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself…’
Iqbal said of the beautiful Asian landscape:
‘O Himalah! O rampart of the realm of India!
Bowing down, the sky kisses your forehead
Your condition does not show any signs of old age
You are young in the midst of day and night’s alternation.’