CHILD WINNER: Aidan Skjeveland
Aidan Skjeveland won in the child category for his poem titled "Blue Blankie." Aidan has been writing poems since he was 4 years old. (Photo by Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer / February 9, 2013)
Aidan Skjeveland was 4 years old when his teacher brought up poems.
"This was a few years ago at the day-care center at (Hagerstown Community College)," said Amanda Miller, Aidan's mother and a language arts instructor at HCC. "The teacher had asked about poems. I asked (Aidan) some questions and these were his answers. Verbatim."
Aidan, now 7, created his poem about one of the things he loved — and still loves — most in his life: the blanket he's kept near himself since he was a baby.
"I was kind of describing Blue Blankie —what he's like, how he feels," said Aidan, now 7. "Normally, that's what poems are — describing something or telling how it feels."
Aidan brought his once-blue blanket — now a tangled handful of pale fibers — to The Herald-Mail when he was photographed for this story. Aidan, his mother and his brother, Anders, live in Hagerstown. Aidan is in first grade at Fountaindale Elementary School.
He said he write sother poems sometimes.
"Poems highlight the important information, like the setting, where the person (in the poem) is," Aidan said. "Pretend the setting is in the woods at night — there would be trees and it would be dark. That would be important."
But often, Aidan's experience with writing is less artistic.
"I practice handwriting at school," he said. "(Now,) I'm practicing my X's. I had to write them five times on each line."
Aidan admitted he prefers playing video games at home to sitting at school. But he understands the need to learn, and he has clearly acquired a good vocabulary.
"You have to take risks in order to learn," he said. "That's one of my learning words."
— Chris Copley
My blanket ...
was with me when I was a baby
and now, too, when I'm a big boy.
is blue and white with airplanes.
waits for me when I am gone.
sleeps when I sleep.
feels soft like watermelon,
and I love watermelon, too.
— By Aidan Skjeveland