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Poetry by Heart Competition 2021

Karen Smith

Poetry by Heart https://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poetry-by-heart-2021/ is a national competition in which young people choose poems they love, learn them by heart and perform them at their school.

This year we have entered the competition with all Canford Shell pupils spending recent weeks at home committing a poem to their memory, with the aim of being selected as the Canford representative. Having performed these poems in their online English classes, six winners (one from each group) were selected by guest judge Sarah Holland for a recital final which will be screened on Thursday 11th February at 7pm.  Sophie will perform ‘Daffodils’ by Wordsworth, Myra ‘Maggie and Mills and Molly and May’ by EE Cummings, Woody ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ by Wilfred Owen, Gabriel ‘Poison Tree’ by William Blake, Molly ‘Mushrooms’ by Sylvia Plath and Fran ‘The House of Air’ by Philip Gross.

Pupils and parents will be invited to ‘tune in’ for the judge’s comments and the announcement of the overall winner who has been selected to enter the national competition. The half hour video will also be a showcase of the Shells musical and creative writing talents in place of the usual ‘Shell Music and Poetry evening’ held annually this term.

Head of English Richard Redwood commented:

“The pupils’ effective use of voice, performance and understanding of the poem shone through the medium of a Teams call in this competition. The event has been a reminder of the how uplifting learning and performing poems can be. In the words of Andrew Motion, founder of the national competition, ‘it is important to learn good stuff, so that our heads are full of nourishing words.’  I am looking forward to Thursday night’s performances, and of course the winner announcement!”

Please follow the link below to join the event broadcast at 7pm on Thursday evening:

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