Anyone can be a poet

By Becky Swain, Head of Learning and Participation, Arvon 

Last week one of the questions asked in Teresa Cremin’s blog was, ‘Can time be made to create a final anthology of collected works by your class – a tangible artefact that celebrates your collective success as writers?’ Whilst our Teachers as Writers research project focused on working with professional writers to develop their narrative fiction, a class of Year 6 pupils in one primary school in Somerset did just that. Pupils worked with their teacher and a professional writer, Louisa Adjoa-Parker, to put together a stunning anthology of poems which they titled Anyone Can Be a Poet.

TAW researcher and poet Anthony Wilson wrote in the foreword of the anthology, ‘it is a real cause for celebration when a group of young writers finds ways of talking memorably and directly about what really matters to them. This anthology is bursting with language, memories and feelings, all of the things which define us as humans. Each and every one of them is to be congratulated for making poems that tell us, above all, that a human being cared enough to write them down. In every sense, this is language and learning that has come alive.’

This week we are delighted to share a selection of short poems from this anthology by pupils from Year 6.


My Playsuit
By Hepzibah

The make-up stained the collar
On the stage with all the lights
Like glitter on a page
So bright, so bright, so bright

The audience obscured
In the inky blackness
Laughing at the way the pleats
On my Grandad’s kilt
Twirled becomingly

On those nights we were a team
Motivation patted me on the back
Nodding encouragingly
And whispered in my ear, ‘You can do it!’

I was Boudicca
Ready to go into battle
And slay the performance


No. 5 Preachers Vale
By Jake

The living room remembers when we bought my goldfish, Hungry and Greedy
The kitchen can still hear the sizzling of bacon
The hall is worried about the shoes that are in the way
The spare room is troubled about the precariously placed clutter
The toilet dislikes me

And No. 5 Preachers Vale dreams of living in a beautiful field
And No. 5 Preachers Vale dreams of a naughty child – me

The windows are keeping schtum about the broken model
The toilet’s sick of the broken lock on the bathroom door
The walls are marked and damaged from all the accidents
My bedroom is fed up of all of the mess

And No. 5 Preachers Vale dreams of a brilliant pool
And No. 5 Preachers Vale dreams of lovely bedrooms


If It Had Been Snowing For Twenty Years
By William

There would be snowdrifts taller than houses
Death rates would be higher than skyscrapers
Trees would be a thing of times gone by
Oxygen would have to be brewed in a factory
Dreams would be small, contained and unreachable


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