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National Poetry Day - winners announced!

posted 8 Oct 2017, 03:56 by Michele Colt
The English Department and the Library marked our first National Poetry Day in the new building with a boisterous celebration of poetry and all things poetical.

English lessons were dedicated to poetry throughout the day and the Library hosted the now annual lunchtime poetry event which saw members of the school community convene to discuss the important role poetry has played in shaping our understanding of the world.  Guests were fed on light snacks and readings of powerful verse written around this year’s theme: Freedom. Much of the poetry read out at the event was original verse written by our learners as a response to the English department’s call for entries to our poetry competition.  As always we were delighted and impressed with the reaction of our poets.

Choosing the winners was not an easy task, as so many students wrote lyrical and thought-provoking responses to the theme of Freedom. In the end, the judgement came down to the poets’ originality and to how well they had used language, structure and imagery. The winning poem, ‘Big Sis!’ is a passionate observation of the injustice meted out to minorities in the postmodern world. It is clear that the poet, Nicole Kalungwishi-Can (Y11), has a genuine understanding of the power of words and, by extension, the important role words can play in changing views and attitudes. The winning entry shows an awareness that poetry can be a medium to process anger and frustration – a clarion call to us all to stop and think about who we are and what we’re doing.  In second place, ‘Pride’ by Francis Mulcahy (Y11) is an example of the power of poetry as a form of expression. The honesty and vulnerability of the poem moved the judging panel, but they were equally impressed with the imagery and structures used. Finally, in third place, ‘This is Freedom’ shows once again that poetry triggers in us a fire that cannot be dampened. Neharika Limbu (Y8) shows an assurance beyond her years in her choice of language and imagery, responding to the theme in a visceral and polemic way. Freedom, it seems, means something to our students. 

Other than the three winners, we would also like to mention the quality of the other entries. The English department was blown away by the creativity and talent that was on display. The winning entries and other poems will be up on the website for you to digest. Many of the best entries will be included in the next issue of [sic] due for release in December.        

Well done everyone!


Big Sis

"Big sis"
Some people legit take the piss
Of my his-tory
They think I lift my fist 
Up for nothin’
They have a list 
Of people to annihilate
This is what society may end up becoming 
where the privileged make the
not so blessed kiss their behinds 

Mistaking kindness for being weak
Humble for being cheap
Thinkin' of my skin as a joke
-  ie., thinking I'm ghetto for saying YO
Making me feel so freaking low
Fo’ shaw

'nother word
So absurd 
I think they might've heard
'Dear white people'
Asking us to be equal
Parallel sequels that may never end
Therefore, we'll never be equal

Always blacks verses whites
Everyone loves and hates lights
We gotta shine a light on this topic
And focus more on equity and fight
For people to visualize such sight

Right now it's black lives matter
And I believe that all lives matter 
But right now we need it more than ever
Because more people want to erase us forever
Some go as far as wishing it was us killed in nine-eleven... 

I went too far on that one. 
I apologize 

I’m just so sick of society continuing to fantasize
About their happy ending

And we're all affected
Black, white,
You can be Indian
I hate how Muslims 
Are all accused of terrorism
Which is why we all got to keep going
And keep the boat floating

For a time will come where we'll all stop living
And the after-life will greet you with a light high up sitting
And asking you: what were you doing?




Hated yesterday, accepted today 
Banned and hated by people with dark hearts
Loved by those with hearts of gold.

These people were called oddities
But I’m proud to be one of them in our own home, our own end

The happiness to be different
The happiness to be gay.



This is Freedom

Do you remember those days?
Shackled we were,
Downtrodden, beaten, and killed.
Wings shredded and torn,
Flesh pulled from our backs,
Leaving scars that carried our shame. 
But at last the time has come,
To end our suffering.
To burn it down, to burn it all,
Their ships, their castles, and their lives,
For this is freedom, I am sure.
The moment the sky rains the cruel King’s blood is the day we all will be free,
When all will feast on splendid pork,
And cheers will ring in my name,
When my wings, tainted red, arise again,
For that is my freedom, I am sure.