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Publication Success for SGGS Young Writers

Four young poets from SGGS have created astonishing poems which will be published in an anthology and sold in Waterstones from May 2021.

Poetry seems to be a medium that is flourishing at the moment. Writers are finding the pleasure of putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboards to explore, expose and examine the strangeness of the world we are currently living in.

Four young poets from SGGS have created astonishing poems which will be published in an anthology and sold in Waterstones from May 2021. Year 7’s Rosanna Radomski was inspired to write her poem ‘Again and Again’ having studied in English lessons Amanda Gorman’s poem ‘The Hill We Climb’ which was written and performed at President Joe Biden’s Inauguration Ceremony.  Her final metaphor ‘screwed together with hope’ when celebrating the power of equality captures the spirit of Gorman’s optimism. The speaker in Rosanna’s poem longs for flight and acceptance; escape and tolerance. 

Year 13  A-level English Literature student Holly Hughes wrote her poem from an equally personal perspective.  She explains, ‘With my grandpa having dementia, it is often hard to explain to others (and comprehend myself) the experience of seeing someone who looks like a loved one shift in every aspect of their being. Writing the poem was a medium for me to express this, preserving the past-self alongside perceiving the new one. I've found that the experience has illuminated the past for me in a way I hadn't seen it before, brightening aspects I hadn't appreciated in the moment, and I wanted the poem to encapsulate these elements as well.’ Holly’s comparisons of her grandfather ‘like a tiny soldier…like a drooping flower bud’ attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable in a beautifully poignant manner.

Year 13 A-level English Literature student Briony Webber was also highly commended. She too will be in print with her poem, 'Stickers'.

Year 8 student Vishwa Modi has also learned that her poem, 'Seasons Of Life' will be published.

This year’s Felix Dennis Young Poetry Competition received the highest number of entries on record making it especially remarkable that two SGGS writers have made it into print.


Underneath The Conservatory Roof 
by Holly Hughes

by Briony Webber

Underneath the conservatory roof
Where bright white surrounds him, he sits, his head
Hanging low like a drooping flower bud,
A paper napkin tied around his neck
As his ice cream and jelly starts to melt. 
With fragile hands he feels for the pattern
Of butterflies on his tray as though he
Could pick them up and we’d be transported
Back to Daisy Land, Wendy house hideouts
And Autumn welly-walks. But now we count
In the garden for him, the butterflies
And birds fleeting in and out like the thoughts
Of a mind slowly losing hold of what
Is, and what was, of who was, and who this
Is now. And when he’s wheeled back to his bed
I ask myself if Grandpa was always
This small, cocooned in a swaddle
Of bedsheets and arms pressed to his sides like
A tiny soldier, his head peeping out
Over the top, resting on the pillow
Asleep. I can’t squeeze him too hard or he
Might break, might shatter into a pile
Of wilted petals. So for now I’ll leave
Him, tucked away as he sleeps in a world
That is his.

Sticky 5-year-old thumb smooths another to the cabinet
like a plaster to a grazed knee. Bright primary colours
burst in the scrawl of your name, the full one,
and with your animated eyes and cotton candy cheeks,
the sticker-trophy beams against grainy wood.

Your scrawny body drowns in patchwork dungaree denim
cuffed by mud that flaked the dentists’ anaemic floor,
that visit where your chin trembled as he smiled open wide!
and you scratched your palms raw to cloying cherry
fluoride and picture frames of kids’ cavernous mouths.
Minty swills, tear tracks, a stamp of bravery for the cabinet.

Its euphoric blue demands an oceanarium of attention,
of small faces mesmerised against cool glass, stalking
the thrill of flashing fishies' bellies; their vulnerabilities
foreign to you whose arms swing when walking and
heart craves to take them home to stow in the cabinet.
It’s lopsided, annoys Mum’s tidiness to no end, but you like it.

Fingertips don’t brush holographic memories
as you stumble out of bed and across grey tile, eyes
unseeing and expression slack. Your hips and thighs
are full now, dungarees tucked in Nan's labyrinthine attic,
and no one gives you stickers anymore.

Seasons of Life
by Vishwa Modi

Again and Again
by Rosanna Radomski

I hold a warmth in my cupped, gloved hands,
A calming glow, crunch,
The seasons fly by,
I don’t want to let go.
They pull me through,
Emerging to the cold blue,
A shiver and a hug,
Then the green blossoms sprout,
Trees brim with life from the spout.
Petals, leaves, branches,
The sun shines bright,
And then a burst of light,
Warming my cold heart into human,
So sore,
I repeat,
Until I am no more,
Sans breath, sans pain, sans everything good and bad,
And I become the seasons,
Serene, tranquil, untroubled,
Joining them once again…

Again and again they say
Again and again I ask
Again and again
They tell me the same
Life’s not fair
You have a disadvantage

All my life I have heard those words
Life’s not fair
So why not try to make it fair?
I ask
It’s not possible
They say
You will always be different

It’s just the way life is
And it’s the way life will always be
We can’t change nature
It’s true
We can’t change nature

Why not change what we can?
They pay no attention
We can change some things

They laugh
Life doesn’t have to be like this
They sigh
What a difficult child, they think

They try to say it gently
What can you do about it?
You will never be able to be like other children
You cannot run, or jump, or play like them
You will hurt yourself

They think that will keep me down
No child wants to hurt themselves
They think I will give in
They don’t know me

I’m hurting now
I say
So why make it worse?
They say

They think they are clever
But they don’t understand
My body isn’t hurting
But my heart is

Would you prefer my heart to break
Or my bones?
They chuckle drily
I’m sick of arguing

They say
They walk away
Again and again
They walk away

Tired of being contradicted
By a child
Again and again
They leave me alone
Hoping it won’t give me hope

The more they leave me
The more I think
The more I wonder what I can do
I stare out of the window

The other children are outside
Running, jumping, laughing
I want to be like them

But I can’t
I can’t
I can’t
Can’t I?

The more I wonder
The more I know
I will prove them wrong
They might laugh
But I will work

They might crush my dream
But I will rise up again
Again and again
I will look to the day

Again and again
I will imagine their faces
When I ride the wind
Zooming out of the house

On four wheels
In a seat
In a wheelchair
Tightly screwed together with hope
Painted with determination
And covered with the varnish of satisfaction
And the triumph of achieving my dreams

Let them laugh
Because I know
Deep inside me
They’re wrong
And I’m going to prove that