Winning Poems

Chiswick Book Festival Young People’s Poetry Competition.

Seventeen schools took part in this year’s Chiswick Book Festival Young People’s Poetry Competition and, with so many poems about lockdown submitted, a special ‘Lockdown’ category was created.  Tisha Maroo won the Year 7 section in this category with her eloquent and moving poem, ‘Locked In’ which encapsulates the feelings and thoughts of so many at this time. 

Locked In

Locked in

We did not ask to be part of history,

But yet we are here.

Locked in, in a lock down,

Within all four walls we all stand.

With my family I must stay,

Keeping myself at bay.

I am still sure that I can breathe,

And I know I have no sneeze.

My restless mind keeps thinking,

of fevers, coughs and aching lungs.

It’s always raining but when we are at home,

It is as sunny as paradise.

Has a month ever felt this long?

To me it feels like a year gone wrong.

Tisha Maroo

In the main competition, Caitlin Gallagher Rattan and Ivy Lo were joint first prize winners in the Year 7 category with ‘Pandemic Paradise’ and ‘Moulding Words’ respectively.  ‘Pandemic Paradise’ imaginatively describes a grim and grimy London in Lockdown, with Nature’s shoots of hope arising out through the gaps.

Pandemic Paradise

Stone buildings, shards of light

Faded cobblestones, windows bright

Black cabs and riverboats

Torn umbrellas and winter coats.

Rain and mist blanket the day

Streetlamps, flickering, guiding your way.

Tourists shops soon sell out,

Cross the road, cars swerve, people shout.

Then… the hustle, the bustle, the daily commute,

Stabbed with a knife, the whole world put on mute.

Shops shut with a bang, doors swing fiercely closed,

The whole of London in one pandemic doze.

Watching the headlines, how many lives lost?

Jumbled up worries, are we safe? At what cost?

The streets are bare and the billboards peel off,

Everything’s come to one panicked stop.

But there’s a crack in the pavement, a hole in the wall,

Where something green is beginning to crawl.

It spins and it twists as it commences to grow,

Bringing a whole fluorescent kingdom in tow!

The trees on the side begin to arch,

And the street looks strange, almost like the park.

Sunlight dances and the air tastes like spring,

Nature’s woken up, reclaiming the throne – to be king!

Caitlin Gallagher Rattan

Ivy Lo’s poem, ‘Moulding words’, is a rhythmically beautiful guide to writing poetry, replete with creative imagery.

Moulding words

Moulding words

Is like moulding clay.

As your hand reaches for the clump of clay,

The same hand reaches for a notebook.

As you start to soften the clay,

You start to soften the whirling words in your mind.

As you start to mould the clay,

You start to mould the words.

Mixing them up,

Breaking them,

Rubbing out the lines and symbols,

Starting again.

Polishing.

Baking.

Changing.

Moulding.

Moulding words.

Moulding clay.

Ivy Lo

These three poems are wonderful examples of the talent and hard work of all our pupils in creating atmospheric poems which touch the heart and stimulate the mind. They are also a tribute to the English Department which encourages and develops the literary talents of our pupils, urging them to be the best they can be in translating their creativity into words that speak to us, like fireworks in the mind.

Each of our prizewinners will receive a bag which includes novels and bookmarks, and will, I am sure, encourage further forays into the world of poetry.

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