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A Celebration of Poetry - KS4/5

by Ana Ferreira


National Poetry Day 2021
A Celebration of Poetry - KS4/5
This year’s celebration of Poetry took place on the 13th October in the Library, with a heart-warming recital by our 10 shortlisted poets voted by staff and sixth formers – which has been a herculean task, given the massive 68 entries submitted! We were all astonished and gratifyingly amazed by their enthusiasm and the quality of their works, which are on display in the Library, and now compiled in an E-book.
To complement our NPD event, some of our Creative Writers did the overture with a hip-hop cheerful piece called Choices. And the cherry on top, our former student Poppy Medenis, who has warmed our hearts and inspired us all with her lovely presence and the brilliant performance of her award-winning poems: Anita and The only thing that we really own, and an original song called Parvietots. It was an honour to have you here, Poppy, we all wish you a bright future!
Here's a short photo gallery of the event, the two winning poems, by Key Stage: The girl at the crossroads, by Romane (8.2) and Self preservation, by Madhu (13D).
Thank you to all our HBS young poets for your enthusiasm and inspiration, and thank you to all staff who have kindly voted and generously brightened up our Celebration of Poetry, in particular Miss Hedges and Miss Smyth! 
Ana Ferreira
Self preservation?

What is it to preserve oneself?
It is certainly not like the pickled vegetables or fruity jams
It is of far less use,
Why should I choose to lock my head in a jar all my life ?
So I shall never live and always be preserved.
How can one know what it is like to live,
Without being broken first?
Teapots that are chipped
Can be used with no care,
Teapots in the cupboard
Have never experienced the feeling
Of warm tea.
So I have decided,
Even if it be foolhardy,
My fate shall not be the same as the ripe fruit on a spring morning.
To be kept in a cupboard
And spread so thin on a piece of bread
It is an injustice.
I will bear the chips and cracks of life.
And being the fool I am
Never preserve myself again.

Madhu, 13D
In a great world where I am told I can choose to be anything,
I am constantly put in boxes,
In a great world where I am made to choose a side, pick a part of me,
I cannot,
I don’t have my own community,
As my identity is always under scrutiny,
To everyone around me I feel other,
and will never fully be able to relate to even my own mother...
It all started on a misty tuesday afternoon,
I was playing Uno with a friend after school at the end of June,
As we slammed down the cards on the table she slammed the question in front of me,
‘If you had to choose a side, what would it be?’
‘What?’ I replied, my voice with a crack,
‘Which family do you prefer white or black?’
Little did I know she had unlocked pandora’s box,
At ten years old, all these doubts once caged up now had broken locks,
I always knew I was different, I could clearly see,
I knew very few who looked like me,
Yet it wasn’t until this moment the ugly reality of this question reared its head,
As I could feel the confusion and alienation creep through me with dread,
I never had fully felt accepted by either group due to not being fully one race,
I was constantly told I had an identity crisis and having the words ‘traitor’ thrown in my face,
I feel guilty sometimes, as though my oppression isn’t as critical,
When I see fellow women put down by a society that chooses to make everything political,
But it was hard growing up, knowing you didn’t fit in, knowing life isn’t fair,
Feeling hopeless and deciding you won’t be accepted anywhere,
And understanding you would pass this burden onto your kin,
All because you are unidentifiable due to the colour of your skin,
I always felt inferior, not fully one being,
Like I had to work ten times as hard just to ensure others would be seeing;