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15 May 2021

Posted by Tabby Hayward


11-14 group - 13 attending
15-18 group - 10 attending

This week, we were looking at lighthouses as metaphors – what could a lighthouse represent? Hope? Guidance? Danger? Protection? Safety? Warning? Luck? Life? Freedom?

We then answered these questions about the feeling/idea which the lighthouse could represent…

What colour is hope/danger/etc?
What does it smell like?
What does it taste of?
What sound does it make?
What texture does it have?
If it were an animal, what would it be?
If it were a machine, what would it be?
If it were a plant what would it be?

Here were Annie’s ideas for her idea of the lighthouse representing selflessness…

Taste-a warm chocolate chip cookie

Next, in the younger group, we put this together into a poem, inspired by Emily Dickinson’s ‘Hope is the Thing With Feathers’…

Here is Alex's:

If hope were a colour it would be the brightest of yellows.
It would fill the room with a scent of warm candles
and taste just like pumpkin pie.
You can hear it in the distance, birds twittering at dawn.
It runs through your fingers like silk.
It resembles a dove.
Daisies on a summer day remind you of them. Hope is a polaroid camera.

And Annie's:

The lighthouse is selfless,
It helps others on their journeys though it longs for a journey itself,
A lighthouse smells of mint,
A delicious smell that gives me hope,
The sound of laughter fills the air,
Surrounding the selfless statue,
Purple fills my mind when i think of the lighthouse,
How it lights-up my world if I needed help,
The lighthouse is smooth and soft,
Reminding those that there is no need for fear,
A horse is its spirit,
So majestic and sweet,
And how selfless it can be,
Just like my friend the lighthouse.

And Lola’s:


Life is a lighthouse guiding us on as the sun’s-substitute making things better,
The colour of life changes each day in a repeating pattern,
It smells like sugar is in the water instead of salt,
It tastes of eggs hatching out into new life,
If it was an animal, it would be a butterfly flying around dropping new life,
If it was a machine, it would be an escalator taking old life up and new life down,
If it was a plant, it would be a seed creating a new tree,
Life is a lighthouse because it keeps us alive.


Freedom is a field, empty and alone,
Freedom is a mansion, large and quiet,
Freedom is a party, o rules to follow,
Freedom is an ocean, without end,
Freedom is a data base, always being added to,
Freedom is a book, able to draw you in,
Freedom is anything or anywhere,
Freedom is what you think.

In the younger group, we then looked at the poem ‘A Portable Paradise’ by Roger Robinson, and looked at how he explored the idea of hope or paradise as something to be carried with you, kept safe and secret from other people, ready to ‘empty…onto a desk’ in a room, when you are alone.

Inspired by this, the young writers imagined their own ideas of paradise and how they might keep it safe…

Here is Annie’s poem:

My paradise is a wonderful place,
My friends and family share this wonderful place with me,
The sun shines almost everyday yet there is rain from time to time,
Lost family members and pets are able to visit me here,
Have fun is the main rule,
The smell of vanilla fills the air,
The sound of laughter and fun is everywhere,
My favourite songs replay again,
This place is my home,
Somewhere where I am never alone,
It’s a small island with everything I love,
Nothing here costs money but a smile to stay,
I have a hut in this island filled with memories,
My favourite colours (black and white) fill the house,
I shall never want to leave but my paradise is only a fantasy,
I love it truly but one day I will see,
This place is only real to me.

And here is Lola’s paradise poem – set in a very special library!


This is a library of paradise,
Or library for short,
You do you,
Nothing else,
Read a book,
Or sit on a shelf,
You could eat a page if you really wanted to,
Coz this is the library of paradise,
Or library for short,
Read a book if you feel bland,
Or fly on a book to feel grand,
Eat a cookie to feel normal,
Or talk to a cookie that is immortal,
Stay silent like everyone else,
Or break the silence to stand out from everyone else,
This is the library of paradise,
Or library for short,
Keep it in your wig and don’t let go,
The library is alive,
But needs you to finish it off.

In the older group, we looked at a wider range of poems, including ‘A Portable Paradise’ and ‘Hope is the thing with feathers’, but also exploring the prose poem ‘Yellow Glove’ by Naomi Shihab Nye, ‘The Window’ by Mary Jean Chan, ‘Litany for Survival’ by Audre Lorde, and ‘Won’t You Celebrate With Me’ by Lucille Clifton, looking at how all these writers, in very different forms, styles and imagery, explored their different ideas of hope. A wonderful series of poems emerged from this, equally wide ranging and inspiring! We hope some of these may also be submitted to the Foyles Young Poets of the Year competition…


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