Monday, 11 January 2016

Summers Poems for Winter

by Lucy Smith

Following on from the success of the Summers House photography competition, the tenacious members of Summers were eager to get involved with a new challenge. Launched to coincide with National Poetry Day 2015, pupils were encouraged to compose an original poem on the theme of winter. It’s fair to say that, in a way that is becoming characteristic of Middle School’s very own green house, the results far exceeded the expectations of our Head of English, Ms Burden, who kindly offered to judge the competition.

Judging proved so difficult that in the end it was necessary to expand the categories from the intended Year 7 winner, Year 8 winner, and best overall to include second placings and commendations as well.

Highly commended was Hamish Orr in Year 7, for his poem about a snowball fight.

Subsequent to his fantastic achievement in the photography competition, Arya Gowda repeated this feat to come first in the Year 8 category, with Ms Burden commenting “Arya’s poem about snow is impressive, incorporating elements of shape poetry and evoking a sense of what snow is like with some vivid phrases.”

The task of picking a Year 7 winner was far from easy, and it eventually came down to a three-way split. In the end, it was agreed to award a joint second prize for both Year 7 and overall to Ben Millard and Oliver Durrant. Ms Burden praised both entrants for their creativity, observing “Ben’s poem, with an extended personification of winter, is very carefully crafted, and Oliver’s poem ‘Winter Comes and Goes’ is incredibly vivid.”

It was decided, after some careful consideration, to award Year 7 first prize, and the overall winner of the Summers House poetry competition, to James Christensen. James’ evocative illustration of the transition from autumn to Christmas Day demonstrated exceptional talent, and certainly struck the teachers who read the poem as a unique take on the brief. Ms Burden judged: “First prize goes to James Christensen. His poem is very unusual and shows an ability to manipulate language in a way that is quite striking for a Year 7 pupil.”

Many thanks to all those who took part, with further thanks to Ms Burden for giving up her time to judge the entrants. You can enjoy their poems below, and if you do see any of these pupils please do take the opportunity to congratulate them.


By James Christensen

Autumn wails through the morning wind,
Asking the quartz snow to surrender on a white flag.
The glum sky looks down upon the sooty world, 
The world is black, the world is dead.

Twigs die, mangled in the roads of men,
Children play, ejecting projectiles of snow.
Leaves the colour of a dead roach crinkle, 
Green is a colour in hibernation.

Pumpkins rot, leaving molten wax.
The ember of an inferno heath blackens,
In its mouth of ash it moans for spruce.
Tiles fall from a crying roof.

Rubble people piles under ebony snow,
Pebbles drown as mournful birds.
The shining moon wreaks havoc on the world, 
The elemental mist covers its evil face.

The tree holds its life, its speciality, its star, 
Canes leak the fallen dew of mint.
Nutcrackers deny diets, eating rapidly
As the family wakes for Christmas Day.


By Ben Millard

When Winter first touched the fields
He was weak.
The power he once had was gone,
Somewhere his hand could not reach.

The dusting of ice was not enough,
It was not a hindrance.
It had to be colder, thicker, higher
For his old power to affect us.

As time went on,
Winter returned.
Each time getting stronger,
The wind getting rougher and tougher.

In our sleep
Winter got fiercer.
Our sheep were dying as we spoke,
Our children and pets had sore throats.

The illnesses came
And Death reigned.
We grew to respect him
As our ancestors did.

Suddenly, the disease stopped,
The children played outside again.
They jumped in the mountains
And came out the other side laughing and screaming for more.

Winter has two sides,
His good and his bad.
The bad coming first and leaving a few
To experience his good side in joy.

New Year came and Winter fled
To another side of the World.
When he gets bored of that place,
He’ll come to us in our fields.

Winter Comes and Goes

By Oliver Durrant

I remember the leaves floating down gently,
Crimson, gold, bright yellow and flaming orange,
All colours of the shimmering sunset sliding down
Under the horizon.

I remember the first glowing glint of white,
The first solitary snowflake to drift down gently,
To lay it's back on the Tarmac ground and
Melt away, only to be followed by hundreds more.

I remember mid-winter, the ground a shimmering
Sheet of unpenetrated snow, glistening and
Casting rays of dancing sunbeams onto stick trees,
Standing strongly with icicles, like a winter dragon's fangs,
The icy wind his wrathful breath.

I remember the icicles dripping as the sunlight
Made them thaw. The snow sheet steadily
Melting, its reflected sunbeams growing weaker.

I remember the spring bloom, trees bursting
Into life, green leaves sprouting from their branches.
The sun, a great golden eye, glared down
On the warm ground, which only a month
Ago was an endless field of shimmering snow.


Arya Gowda

Drifting tufts reside in the tenebrous skies,
Scrutinizing a world below.
Magnanimous sheets of joy
Cover the distant horizon,
A winsome sea of white.
Suddenly, A gentle breeze,
A flutter of snow.
A universal dance commences,
A compelling prospect.
They swirl like fairies,
Pirouetting through the warm dusk sky.


By Hamish Orr

The thick, white blanket of snow,
Laid soft on the garden path
And the bright sun made it glow.
I tie my stripy scarf
I'm ready for a snowball fight
I make a huge pile of snow
What a great winter sight
Everyone starts to throw.
Oh I love the winter snow
A snowball fight and winter sights
It makes the winter glow.
When spring comes at last
The snow quickly melts away
Oh why does it go so fast?
Then the sky goes grey
I thought the snow had passed
But then I think again
Will the snow come back?
But only rain came.

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