Published on: Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The annual poetry recitation final saw the whole school gather in the Chapel to appreciate the spoken word. Five outstanding orators secured a place in the final after winning their rounds with poems close to their hearts.

Each speaker was introduced and a little background was provided about the poet and the context of each poem. The audience was encouraged to consider certain elements of the performance such as clarity, meaning, engagement and voice. 

Daisy T opened proceedings with a recital of I am the People, the Mob by Carl Sandburg. This poem was chosen by Daisy because its political message spoke to her. She wanted to perform something meaningful, powerful and inspirational.

The following poem, delivered by Georgina E was from The Ballad of Reading Gaol, by Oscar Wilde. This is one of the great English poems of the 19th Century, written about his experiences as a convict by one of the eminent intellectuals and writers of his generation.

Next up was Adam L, reciting The Worst Day Ever. It’s a prose poem by Chanie Gorkin which takes the idea of the worst day ever, and then turns it on its head with some positive thinking. She was an 11th Grade student at a New York Jewish school when she wrote it for a school assignment.

Medusa by former poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy was then recited by Harrie R. It comes from her collection The World’s Wife. In this collection, she takes female figures from history and fiction, and re-tells their stories with a feminist sympathy, or re-creates the tale to show the woman’s strength.

We finished with what in both senses might be described as an old warhorse of a poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade, another great Victorian poem by the then Poet Laureate – the National Poet, Alfred Tennyson. Ben K gave an animated and passionate delivery that held everyone's attention.

Once all five had completed their rendition, their peers voted on their phones and the winners were announced.  Headmaster Mr Sloan presented prizes to those who had competed in the heats, and to the finalists. Congratulations go to Harrie who was awarded first place for her perfect execution and Adam who came a close second. Ben was awarded the prize for the poem judged best by the voting audience.

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