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National Poetry Day

The first Thursday in October of every year is a special day for word enthusiasts: National Poetry Day. This year, the theme was the word “refuge”. In English lessons, we explored poems by Brian Bilston and Nicola Davies on the topic of refugees and shared facts about refugees with our classes.

Did you know:

  • People seeking asylum receive little financial support and are not allowed to work
  • People seeking asylum can be detained indefinitely
  • Unaccompanied children face an uncertain future?

“Refuge” relates to more than just the most vulnerable in society, however. Refuge can mean a safe space, a place of comfort, a home. During our National Poetry Day assemblies, I asked students what they considered to be their refuge. We wrote live list poems, proving that poetry doesn’t need to be profound and life-changing, it can also be simple, truthful and personal to us. Have a read below! It gives a lovely insight into the refuges of different year groups.

Year 11

A warm sunny beach
My dressing gown
My friend Connor
Vitamin D pills
My nephew
Hot chocolate

Year 10

A comfy hoodie
A Bovril in T148
A cosy sofa
A Lemsip
Seeing my sister’s face
Bonkers Mrs Adams
Listening to really loud music
Cruising on a long drive
Watching a film in bed

Year 9

Wearing pyjamas all weekend
Chicken pasta
Going Outside
My poncho
Hot chocolate
My plaid shirt
My blue hoodie

Year 8

Spending time with my kitten
My computer
Playing rugby
Watching football
Taylor Swift
Eating a can of Pringles
Relaxing at home
Fish and chips
My bed

Year 7

A warm hug
My soft bed
A hot drink after a cold day
A cosy sofa
A beautiful cat
Delicious hot pizza
A scrumptious warm lasagne
An adorable dog
My fluffy hoodie

It is interesting to see that many of our students seek refuge in exercise, in food, in music, in the people and pets they love and in special pieces of clothing. As I write this at the end of Mental Health Week, it is wonderful to see how much self-care awareness our students have.

Finally, sometimes the simplest poem can spark creativity within us and I was delighted to receive two beautiful poems from two very talented students, having been inspired by our National Poetry Day celebrations. First, a poem from a dog’s perspective by Erin H in Year 8 and secondly, a heartfelt ode by one of our Year 13 English Literature students – Kat O  – to her sister in Year 10.

The Dog by Erin H

I’m man’s best friend
Right until the end
You must take me for a daily jog
Every morning, through the fog
Who cares if there’s a sofa I like to hog!
Because I’m your pet, I’m your dog
Cuddle and take care of me
Don’t forget to take me out for a wee!
I wag my tail
And sometimes wail
Forgive me for the mess on the floor
At least you haven’t noticed the marks on the door!

For  Aimee by Kat O

It’s been a while since I’ve hugged my little sister.
Not that I don’t want to, it’s just she shoves and pushes me away any time I get close.
I don’t think that means she hates me, affection seems to be an embarrassment to her.
She likes to be independent, likes to be ‘brave’ she likes not needing help.
But I don’t.
I miss my little sister, even if she hasn’t gone anywhere.
I miss the little girl that begged me to play barbies with her.
I miss the little girl that would play hide and seek and claim to be the best even if I could see her feet underneath the curtain.
I miss her giggle.
I miss her smile.
I even miss the petty arguments we had.
I miss her little eyes that sparkled like peridot.
I guess it’s normal, that she’s growing up.
And I’m supposed to accept that she won’t always be my little girl.
But I can’t accept it.
I see that little girl in her smile and her eyes.
Her nails,
Her hair,
Her pearly teeth.
I don’t see the girl she is, but the girl she was.
The one that couldn’t sleep with the lights off.
The one that was afraid of monsters under the bed.
I have pictures of her, frozen in time, a permanent reminder of that girl.
My girl.
Even if she doesn’t know it, I’ll always look out for her.
I’ll always be there for her, for the little girl that lives within her.
I just wish I could see her.
Just for a moment.
Just to let her know,
I love her.

If you feel inspired to write your own poetry, please send your creation to – poetry always makes my day!

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