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16 November 2021

Posted by Tabby Hayward


This week, we returned to the Young Poets Network Pop Culture Challenge before the deadline this Sunday!

We started off watching the iconic highlights from James Acaster's legendary appearance on Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer!

Inspired by this, we thought about times when we may too have felt like James Acaster on Bake Off - laughing off moments when we're struggling with something, realising that something we thought would be simple is actually turning into a bit of a disaster - and feeling judged by Paul Hollywood!

Inspired by this, the group were challenged to write their own poems/descriptions about a time where they either felt a bit like James Acaster on Bake Off, or another celebrity in a particular situation! Sticking with the Bake Off theme, Aurora wrote this brilliant, witty and strangely moving poem, about KSI on Bake Off!

I think I am KSI on Bake Off…
I am KSI on Bake-Off, in a strained voice
and saying that everything looks great,
while the immediate doom persists,
and my cloying, over-sweet presentation
spikes into submission.
I am KSI on Bake-Off, my work is cold,
flipped upside-down and draining out.
Aye me, the world is heavy at the bottom,
where I can kneel under the dripping weight
of my many mistakes.
I am KSI on Bake-Off, everything improvised
and nothing going to plan, I bet - oh curses!
Why must I drown in the sound of my own
laughter, aching under the ages that have
run me so far past?
Oh, there is little left in this world for me that
I have not yet seen, not yet yearned, not yet
learned to love. But no, I will not lay and give,
for even in the face of utter failure
my voice will carry on.

Next, we started work on odes (poems celebrating a particular person or thing!) with a pop culture twist - the young writers picked a film, TV show,  or video game, and then 'zoomed in' on a particular character or scene which resonated with them, and which others might not appreciate or instantly think of (e.g. Mongo the giant gingerbread man in Shrek 2, Marcel the monkey in Friends,etc!)

This sparked some varied and exciting poems (Tabby even wrote an ode to Mongo!) and we hope many of these will be entered into the competition!


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