Poetry by Heart 2016

Posted: 26th February 2016

A courageous recital

One of the many joys to which we are privy as educationalists is the seemingly boundless imagination demonstrated by our young people. An example of this creative flair can often be found in our girls’ interpretation of verse. Not only can a good poem elicit emotions (many of us didn’t know we had), but when narrated and celebrated socially, poetry can champion one’s level of confidence and achievement.

It was therefore a true delight to see Upper VI student Shivali Sharma participate in the West London Poetry by Heart contest at Hounslow Arts Centre, on Saturday 6th February. The event, judged by industry leaders such as Paul McLoughlin and Declan Ryan, also heard readings by celebrated poet Mona Arshi.


Miss Sharma was recently announced winner of our school poetry competition and is an example of our girls’ willingness to explore their own intellectual curiosity. During the regional contest she performed two poems by heart, ‘The Way Through the Woods’ by Rudyard Kipling, and ‘A Life in Dreams’ by Jacob Sam-La Rose.

Miss Brown, Head of Drama at St Augustine’s Priory, accompanied Miss Sharma in support of her performance. Congratulating Shivali for “a courageous recital”, Miss Brown observed that the performance was delivered “with poise and passion”. When asked about her experience, Miss Sharma commented: “Poetry by Heart is a great experience. It builds confidence and is a fantastic opportunity to see how different people interpret verse. I would highly recommend it. I wish Maryam (competition winner) all the best in the National Finals”.

Continuing to nurture her love of poetry, Miss Sharma is now preparing to perform ‘The Ballard of the Small-Boned Daughter’, by Mona Arshi and ‘Ugly’ by Warsan Shire, at the House of Commons on International Women’s Day in March. This event promises poignant subjects and insightful performances, not to mention a display of readers’ valour, which lifts the written verse from an otherwise page of pallor.


Contributor: TFarmer

Categories: Senior Sixth Form Whole School