On Bipeds & Brutes

National Museum of Animals & Society Blog

Vultures Rock Poetry Contest

In the spirit of vulture awareness, the website Vultures Rock, a project by Princeton Ph.D. candidate Corinne Kendall who is studying vultures in Kenya, is launching a vulture-themed poetry contest for kids ages 8 to 12. The deadline for submitting your entry is October 10th ; three winners will be announced October 28th, just in time for Halloween. The winning entries will be published on the Vultures Rock website, and the authors will each receive an iPod Shuffle! Here’s a little more information about the contest:

Help Us Get Out the Word That Vultures Rock Through Your Poems!

If you think about all the things that vultures do for the environment, they really do ROCK! But vultures are in big trouble. Their numbers are dropping around the world, mainly because people know so little about them and why they need to be protected.

To honor vultures for Halloween 2011 and also help raise awareness of their plight, Vultures Rock is sponsoring a poetry contest for kids ages 8 to 12. Write a poem on a topic related to vultures, such as: why vultures are important to our world, what vultures look like, why vultures are beautiful, what’s happening to the world’s vultures, or something spooky about vultures and Halloween – or choose a topic of your own that describes how you think vultures rock.

Check out Vultures Rock for more information and full contest rules.

To help inspire you, here is a poem by American poet Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), simply titled “Vulture.”

I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside
Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling high up in heaven,
And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit narrowing, I understood then
That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-feathers
Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer.
I could see the naked red head between the great wings
Bear downward staring. I said, “My dear bird, we are wasting time here.
These old bones will still work; they are not for you.” But how beautiful he looked, gliding down
On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering away in the sea-light over the precipice. I tell you solemnly
That I was sorry to have disappointed him.
To be eaten by that beak and become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes–
What a sublime end of one’s body, what an enskyment; what a life after death.


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