GFWC National Poetry Contest Winner
September 5, 2017
Sharon Paulson of GFWC Amery Woman’s Club (Wisconsin) has won first place in GFWC’s national poetry contest. Sharon’s entry, “On the Death of My Son”, is a moving poem that she wrote on the night her son Christopher died. “I hope people can see the world through the eyes of Christopher,” Sharon said. “He was empathetic to a fault. He felt for others too deeply. So much so, he felt himself too imperfect to live in this world.”
While there were many outstanding submissions that illustrated the talent of the GFWC community, Sharon’s poem stood above the rest. She has been writing for about eight years, but not steadily— only when she feels deeply moved by an idea. The death of her son was one of those moments, and she channeled her emotions into a poem that spoke to the judges:
On the Death of My Son
It was all about perfection
And that is why he loved nature
You’ll find perfection all around
A flower, a snail, a star, a tree.
He was most at peace in the woods, in the quiet
The sounds of nature were his Mozart, his genius
And after the woods, the birds, the animals, and brooks
Were his family.
But children came before the fall, before the destruction, before sadness.
The root of that destruction was the masses, the media, and man.
Nature wanted the control, but man chose differently.
Man decided and nature lost.
Let the children choose.
It was too late.
Perfection was slipping farther
And hope was lost.
And, finally, life was lost.
We would like to thank Sharon for sharing this emotional poem with us.
Sharon is one of fifty-seven members of GFWC Amery Woman’s Club, which helps their local community. One of their major and best-loved projects is their Amery Art & Craft Fair, which benefits school scholarships.
Darby Frankfurth has risen from club chairmanships and officer roles, all the way to GFWC Florida state office.
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Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
GFWC Lawrence Classics Club
The GFWC Lawrence Classics Club (Kansas) has 19 members, and it’s an incredible mixture: one charter member has been involved since 1997; one member has been part of GFWC since 1960; there are a mother and daughter pair who are 2nd and 3rd generation clubwomen; four members are Boosters; and their youngest member only graduated from college last year. This assorted group shares the same values about volunteerism and puts them into action.