The Perse School

Poet-tree in motion

8 Oct 2015

8 October is National Poetry Day; an annual celebration of all things poetic. Staff from the English and Drama Department organised a range of events to mark the day, which is celebrates its 21st birthday this year.

This year’s theme is ‘light’, and those participating in National Poetry Day are encouraged to think of a poem and share it in an imaginative way. To celebrate both of these themes, a ‘poet-tree’ was created in the library, and students were asked to write a few lines of their favourite poem or the name of their favourite poet on a lightbulb to decorate the tree.

Students also enjoyed a lunchtime poetry reading by staff who read out their favourite poems. A number of staff from different subject disciplines opted to read a favourite poem in honour of National Poetry Day. Many of the poems reflected the theme of light.  Mr Cerny’s performance of Hopkins’ The Windhover was particularly well-received.  Students enjoyed the densely compacted ‘sprung rhythm’ of the piece. The House Poetry Competition was also launched in assembly this morning.

Our creative students are no stranger to writing wonderful poetry of their own. We have reproduced two outstanding entries to last year’s House Poetry Competition below.

Red of the Poppy by Florie Harmer (now in Year 8)

Soft and light petals,
Carmine, the poppies used as precious memoirs,
Rose, elegant and hopeful, marching off to war,
Coral, the kiss of a mother as they say farewell,
Scarlet, the glory of carrying the regimental standard,
Crimson, the colour of blood that is spilt,
Magenta, memories of a previous battle, will we ever stop fighting?
Sanguine, cries of sorrow and agony of heartache,
Burgundy, desolate no man’s land, churned up by scrambling feet,
Cerise, blood stains that infect nurses’ uniforms,
Vermillion, pride of a medal winner,
Cardinal, bodies blessed by the Army Padre,
Ruby, the blushing of a sweetheart as their hero returns,
Red, bright and piercing,
Red of the poppy flower.

Greenhouse by Lucy Tansley (now in Year 11)

Curling tendrils
In a green haze.
Distorted totem erupting from the
Earth and shooting up to reach the glass.

Tiny buds of colour
Growing into beautiful blooms
Military rows in their beds,
A rainbow of soldiers
Ready to be picked for battle in a vase.

Seeds implanted in the soil,
Nestling in their crumbling brown home.
Struggling upwards to find the
Light and grow into the air.

The panels of glass,
Containing the overflowing
Wonderful life which grows within.
Steadfast, robust, protecting from
Wind and rain,
Letting the new born shoots
Prosper and grow
In the greenhouse.


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