ST 12 Days of Christmas Surprises: Day 7 winner spreads festive cheer through poetry

The Day 7 winner of the inaugural The Straits Times 12 Days of Christmas Surprises contest is Madam Diana Wee. -- ST GRAPHIC
The Day 7 winner of the inaugural The Straits Times 12 Days of Christmas Surprises contest is Madam Diana Wee. -- ST GRAPHIC

Madam Diana Wee has been writing poems ever since she was nine.

To date, the former teacher - who taught English language at ACS (Junior) for 25 years before retiring in 2011 - has penned hundreds of poems for friends and family on occasions such as weddings, birthdays and funerals.

One of her latest efforts stood out among the nearly 1,800 entries received so far in the ongoing Straits Times 12 Days of Christmas Surprises.

For spreading the festive cheer in her submission, the Day 7 winner won herself a Sharp Plasmacluster Ion Generator, which purifies air.

The 64-year-old attributes her literary spark to an anthology called The Book of A Thousand Poems her father gave her when she was eight. The book was very precious to her as it was a book few classmates of hers had then.

Her poetic interest now extends to her daily interaction with other people - she often responds to text messages in verse.

"When I reply them in verse, it sparks off a conversation," said the mother of two sons, adding that people would sometimes reply in rhyme as well.

In her entry to the contest, Madam Wee says ST has helped her keep tab on "news galore/Ringing in the latest score" and how "doves, partridge, birds or French hens/Remind me to remain your faithful friend" in this festive season.

On her win, she said: "It's a very pleasant surprise that I won since I wrote in for the fun of it."

Together with our presenting partner Standard Chartered, we are offering a mystery gift to a reader a day until Dec 24.

Tech gadgets and household appliances worth $6,000 in total are being given away, as part of The Straits Times Appreciates Readers (Star) series to reach out to readers and the community.

To take part, just tell us in no more than 40 words: "Why my loved one or I deserve to get a gift from The Straits Times."

E-mail your entry to stxmas@sph.com.sg and include your full name, NRIC number and cellphone number. The contest is open until noon on Dec 23.

audreyt@sph.com.sg

To check out readers' entries as well as find out how to join the contest, go to www.straitstimes.com/st-christmas-2013