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

23 March 2019

Posted by Lucy Pearce


11-14 Age Group, 13 Attending

Kicking off poetry week the young writers were encouraged to discuss their favourite poems, giving Tammy and I a welcome challenge as most admitted they weren't fans of any. To battel this - and hopefully change their minds - we read and analysed a variety of poems, from Jo Shapcott's Callisto's Song, to Lewis Carroll's The Mouse's Tale and explored how poems didn't have to follow the expected structure and writing techniques.

With this in mind, the young writers then put pen to paper and wrote poems, both in a group and individually, in any style they wanted, taking inspiration from the poems they had read. When reading these out, it was amazing how many of the writers had a natural flow for poetry, and their enthusiasm gave the impression that we had successfully converted them!

Millie wrote: 

Dominating the midnight ocean 
Letting the stars drown
Before her side of darkness the cower
Her imperious aura suffocating them 

She takes my breath away
And keeps it for herself
At my darkest hour
She burns brightest 

I should have known
When I swore by the stars 
It would be the moon to
hold me to my word in the end

And though she wishes me nothing but harm

I let go and fell into her arms.

15-18 Age Group, 8 Attending

Similar to the 11-14 year-olds, the writers analysed poems such as Anne Carson's The Glass Essay and Robert Lewis Stevenson's From A Railway Carriage, and discussed 'what makes a poem' - which quickly divided the room into writers who loved rhyme, and writers who did not. We talked about how important the space on a page is, and how this can be explored by the physical structure of a poem. 

The group then wrote a collective poem, taking a line at a time, creating: 

Rain was falling. In the city
I ran
to the skyscrapers. 

There are so many people, yet I am so alone.
I remembered 

eyes aren't windows 
but windows are eyes.

But still,
I ran. 

Stealing inspiration from a word/theme/image found in the poems we previously read, the writers wrote then wrote their own poetry, some even completing numerous.

Thomas's brilliant poem Rage. Rage. is shown in the picture above.


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