14 December 2020
Posted by Tabby Hayward
In our last Afterschool Club before the winter break, we began by thinking about our best and worst things about winter - examples of best things included snow, hot chocolate, Christmas shopping, sweets and dark evenings - worst things included cold feet, dark mornings, snow and shopping - so there were definitely some debates to be had!
Next, we thought about kennings - compound expressions used in Old English/Old Norse poetry, with a metaphorical meaning - e.g. sky-candle = sun. After trying to unpick some of these Old English kennings (Safir really excelled at guessing what they all meant!), we came up with our own kennings for key winter things - e.g. snow, ice, stars and winter itself. Then, the young writers were challenged to come up with a kenning for their own best and worst things about winter.
After looking at some examples of great winter poems, including White Eyes by Mary Oliver, Blizzard by Linda Pastan and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. Some of these even used kennings of their own, which we looked out for!
We put this all together and the young writers came up with some beautiful winter poems, making use of at least two kennings - here are some brilliant examples:
WINTRY DAYS/ Blackened-sun, the sugar-dusted windows
shiver,/ gold-fleckles blot the tear-duct dotted sky,/ dark-moonlight shimmers
alluringly, reflected in crystal windows,/ fragile-glass swirls in the
haphazard breeze a piercing-shiver destitutes,/ the chilly-dagger stabs the
frigid breath in agonizing silence,/ kissing-berries loop enticingly, adorned
with sharp-needles,/ salt-tears leak from the sky, a bleached eternal-blanket
crackling,/ dense-pincers adorned with glittering-bubbles,/ glowing-heat,
twinkling-candle flickering , winter days.
Grassy jewels are worn/ By regal owners across the lawn./
The sun comes up and steals them all,/ melts the snow - winter's shawl/ Takes
the window that covered the pond,/ Which, till now, Has stayed strong,/ Nicks
the icicles, like icy knives,/ And robs winter of its life
And inspired by our Saturday Club Bake-Off technical challenge to write a diamante poem, here are Eve's:
waxy ; a whisk-me-up
mingling, drinking, spinning
deers caught in frost-light; lovers ; eyes ; hands
bury ; cling ; invade
love’s parasite ; a dizzy-me-up
crystalline ; sheet- eye
hold me ; coax me ; tease me
dormancy ; lullaby ; blueshot iris ; tarot card
tell me ; read me ; riddle me
And you can see Evie's beautifully star-shaped winter poem in the image below...
After a final fun challenge, to design our ideal winter festive celebration, thinking of food, guests, music and entertainment, and inviting anyone from real life, history or books/films (Helen's guests included Jo March, Winnie the Pooh, the Mad Hatter and Hermione Granger!), we said goodbye for the holidays. See you all in January!
Evie's Star-Shaped Winter Poem