Dr Mike Ponsford, an English teacher from Marlborough College, with 6th formers, Ali Vyvyan (a former Farleigh Head Girl) and Ella Atterton, gave a poetry workshop at Farleigh as a prize for Emily Symington, Year 7, who won Marlborough's recent prep school poetry competition.
Katie Henderson, Year 8, who took part in the workshop writes: "The representatives started
by asking us what is needed for poetry? Inspiration and words. First, we looked
at 'words' by standing in a circle and walking across the room whilst whispering our chosen
word. There was a wide array of words including 'sizzling' and 'eerie'. We then
stood in twos and had a conversation, the first person using one word, the
second two, and so on. After this we looked at 'inspiration'. Everyone stood with
their eyes shut, facing the wall. Something was placed in
our hands and we had to feel it enough to be able to write a poem about it. We were given a structure, for example, the first line was one word with a second stanza starting with ‘as heavy as’, but we had to find the
metaphors and descriptions from touch. After we had written the poems, Dr Ponsford told us
what we had been writing about - a rabbit’s skull! The workshop was a fantastic experience and got
everyone thinking about the words we choose and where we get our inspiration
from. I really enjoyed it and will definitely use some ideas in my own
Examples of poetry written on the day:
My box is made of secrets and dreams
a lock made of courage and strength
steaming branding iron, cruel and defiling.
will put in a young spruce, enjoying life in its prime.
I found it tangled in green ivy,
That had covered the walls of Shakespeare’s
I would like to travel with it, and show it sights
far from home,
Keep it safe and close to me, never let it
It will float in my memory,
Forever (Katie Henderson)
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