Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Poetry in Motion

Last Thursday I was really pleased to organise and host a special event in the Commons, with former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew Motion.  Sir Andrew was there to commemorate Armistice Day, by reading from his book Laurels and Donkeys. This book contains a number of poems  about War and Conflict. All the proceeds will be going to the cause of Royal Marines Rehabilitation.

We combined this event with a special Harlow Poetry Competition in which over a hundred school 
children from all over Harlow sent in their own poetry on the theme of Conflict and
Remembrance. The standard of entries for the poetry competition were outstanding.

The many entries were judged by David Yeld, Head of Downs School, 
Harlow Council Chairwoman, Sue Livings and John Steer from Harlow Arts Council. They passed the top five  entries to Andrew Motion to pick out a final winner. All the five finalists were invited to the event, along with their families.

Guests included the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles MP, Essex Councillor for the Arts Jeremy Lucas, Harlow College Principal Colin Hindmarch and a number of Harlow
school-children and their families.

The competition's overall winner Sinead Jolley, a pupil from The Downs School, read her poem to a crowded room and was awarded her prize by Sir Andrew Motion. Her Poem, called Maxiecaptured the eye of all of the judges and provoked real emotion within the audience: 

Suitcase in his hands
Uniform on
In less than two minutes
My baby would be gone

Standing by the door
Taxi waiting outside
Seeing him look so smart
Filled my heart with pride

“Good luck” I said “Be careful”
“Write to me everyday”
I could not believe it
When he said he was going away

I gave him one last hug
And accompanied him to the taxi
Those were the last moments
With my son Maxie

The runners up were Laura Richardson, Charlotte Mercer, Lilli Tracy, Maisie Ayers and Paige
Wheeler-Kavanagh. Their poems were as follows:

by Laura Richardson

They fight for you, they fight for me,
They’re fighting for our country.
The men and women – air, land and sea,
These are our ‘armed forces’ and we should be…

They’re the real heroes,
We salute them all,
Some will live,
And some will fall, and we should be…

We should pay tribute,
To those present and past,
And to the huge contribution,
Or should I say, vast?  And we should be….

To all the ‘armed forces’
Who put their lives on the line,
We will always remember,
What you define.  And we should be…

To all of the families,
And the loved as well,
For how they get parted,
And must go through hell, and we should be…

They fight for you, they fight for me,
They’re fighting for our country.
The men and women – air, land and sea,
These are our ‘armed forces’ and we should be…

Battle of Britain
by Charlotte Mercer

Air raids sounding,
RAF shaking to death,
Men at war dressed in uniform,
Everyone cheered when Churchill said “We will never surrender!”
Death if we lose, that will not happen.

Fire lights up the sky in the night,
Overhead loud noises,
Rumbles in the sky from dog fights,
Crying from down below,
Everyone screaming when a bomb drops,
Silence, the battle is over. The war is won.

So Tired of Fighting
by Lilli Tracy

So tired of fighting but they must go on
So brave in battle fighting so stronger
And the days turn into years of being away from home
So scared so still and so alone
But they lift their heads with pride
What they have done has saved so many lives
So we thank them for their courage and praise them in return
For they have saved the country and we have a lot to learn
So the men who are still fighting take place in history
And they can tell a story of what they truly believed

by Maisie Ayres

I truly fear:
I fear letting down my comrades,
I am anxious I won’t prove worthy,
No man gets left behind!

I truly believe:
I believe it is my calling,
To protect and make the world a better place,
I must separate right from wrong!

I truly hope:
I hope to see the smiling face of my loved ones,
They are the reason I fight on,
The only hope I have!

by Paige Wheeler-Kavanagh

My great great grandma is a pilot and she died
My great great granddad is at war and he died
But I am lucky and I just think
My dad is in the war already I hope he doesn’t die
The way my nan hugs me it is like my mum
And peace to the world
Like a flower in the sky
Peace is good
Peace is the heart of the world


by Robert Halfon - www.roberthalfon.blogspot.com


  1. Proud of them

    I really like this poem because it is talking about the war and how we should thank them for fighting for us. Even though it isn't what I would write about I still enjoy it.If you wanna see what poems I write about you can check out my blog at: http://classblogmeister.com/blog.php?user_id=253244&blogger_id=321315

  2. Tired of fighting

    I agree with your poem.
    There should just be peace and we should just get along with each other we need to keep our place safe.
    It isn't a poem I would write about but I still
    really like it.
    If you wanna check out my poems here is a link.