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Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

01 December 2019

Posted by Tabby Hayward

Marshmallow-Ice and Under Milk Wood

color:#003000">11-14 Group - 13 attending

orphans: 2;-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;word-spacing:0px">This week in the younger group we were looking
at winter poetry. We began by discussing our favourite and least favourite
things about winter - as a group - the general trends were a love of Christmas
(especially the food!) but less enthusiasm for the cold, and socialising with
extended family! We then looked at examples of winter poems, including White
Eyes by Mary Oliver, Blizzard by Linda Pastan and Lines for Winter by Mark
Strand, and thought about the words which recurred across these poems - cold,
white, snow, wind, ice, stars, trees, winter itself. We then discussed
something new - and very old! - kennings. Kennings are compounds of words with
metaphorical meaning, which the Anglo-Saxons used in Old English poetry - we looked
at examples and tried to guess what they meant. Here are some examples:

orphans: 2;-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;word-spacing:0px">Sky-candle (the sun) 

orphans: 2;-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;word-spacing:0px">Whales-way (the sea) 

orphans: 2;-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;word-spacing:0px">Battle-sweat (blood) 

-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;background-attachment:scroll;word-spacing:0px">We color:#212121">then worked at coming to with our own kennings for the commonly-used winter words we'd identified in the poems. There were some amazing ideas,
some of my favourites including:

-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;background-attachment:scroll;word-spacing:0px"> color:#212121">Marshmallow-ice (snow - by Skye)

Unkind-glass (ice - by Erin)

Human-impersonators (trees - by Sam)

Forest-giants (trees - by Scarlett)

God-impaler (trees - by Martha)

Moon-children (stars - by Izzy)

and The Lord's-burp! (the wind - by Megan!)

orphans: 2;-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;word-spacing:0px">The Young
Writers were then challenged to write their own poems but with the key words
snow, ice, cold, winter and wind banned,
so they would need to use their kennings instead! To be even more impressive,
they could also include extra kennings for other wintery/christmassy words
(e.g. holly, Christmas tree, turkey, snowflakes, stars) if they wanted

-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;background-attachment:scroll;word-spacing:0px">Here is
Skye's poem - see if you can spot the kennings!

-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;background-attachment:scroll;word-spacing:0px">I sat down
near the fire
Its angry flames bursting high
The intricate-pattern of icy-powder
Falling from the moody sky.

-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;background-attachment:scroll;word-spacing:0px">Santa's carriage came quickly this year
The bauble-hanger carrying gifts
And the stockings held by holly leaves

-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;background-attachment:scroll;word-spacing:0px">Outside, the hair-lifter swirled and danced
In between the ice-cold human-impersonator
Slithering on the Titanic's-death
Lifting up to the shining-gas.

-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;background-attachment:scroll;word-spacing:0px">We sat down like couch-potatoes
A store of blankets burying us
The chilly-spice left outside
As we bake mince-pies and
Watch TV.

-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;background-attachment:scroll;word-spacing:0px"> Izzy's
poem is also pictured below!

-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;background-attachment:scroll;word-spacing:0px"> color:#212121">
color:#212121">15-18 Group - 14 attending  

orphans: 2;-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;word-spacing:0px">This week
in the older group, we looked at audio-writing, in preparation for next week's
workshop, where the team from Calling the Shots will be coming in to lead the
session, to help the Young Writers prepare to pitch short audio scripts (which
could be scripted drama, comedy or spoken word poetry) to the BBC New Creatives

-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;background-attachment:scroll;word-spacing:0px">We began
by discussing in pairs the things we listened to (other than music). Most of
the Young Writers didn't really listen to radio drama (though some of their
parents did, so they had heard some examples!) but many listened to podcasts,
from comedy, to horror, to true crime, and some also listened to audio-books.
To get us started, we then listened to a range of examples of audio pieces,
from Helen Mort's 'Goldilocks Swipes Left' poem on the 'Bedtime Stories for the
End of the World' podcast, to an extract from the futuristic Forest 404 on BBC
Sounds, to Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, covering drama, monologues, spoken
word, comedy and poetry, in a range of genres. Feeling inspired, the Young
Writers discussed ideas for their own audio scripts, with some coming up with
ideas individually and others working in pairs or small groups (we're keeping
their ideas Top Secret for now while they work on their pitches for the BBC
scheme, but there were some really original, inspired concepts, from horror to
comedy, to psychological thriller, to hilarious commentary on Dorset life - one
even featured the Lighthouse Young Writers group as the set-up for the story!)

-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;background-attachment:scroll;word-spacing:0px">We then
also practiced some pitching and thought about what made our ideas original and
important. We look forward to developing these ideas more in next week's

orphans: 2;-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;word-spacing:0px"> 

Hearing some of the winter poems performed!

Coming up with kennings for the most-used wintery words!

Izzy's winter poem!


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