'Barbara Holland, Wilson Senior, Wins Star Writing Award'
(headline from The Evening Star, Washington, D.C., March 2, 1950)
Barbara Murray Holland was 16 when she wrote the nine-line poem that won The Evening Star's Scholastic Writing Awards Contest. She had won the national prize in 1949, too, but that poem hasn't surfaced. We found the newspaper clipping for the 1950 winner, though.
Here it is:
To Those Who Are Not Quite Great
by Barbara Murray Holland
You may know by the thin relentless face
The almost-genius, accursed race
Whose hearts never came to a resting place.
Fire and bone and hollowed thin
As a reed, as a flute, by the flame within;
It has been fore-written, they shall not win.
But the heart that consumes the flesh and the mind
Still burns, when the shell has been left behind.
Following what it will never find.