For the first time this year, we ran a poetry competition to celebrate Black History Month, and are proud to announce the winners of the competition this week!
Congratulations go to Rinojan (Year 7), and Liang (Year Eight) – Key Stage Three Winners (banner photo, top); Mattia and Cheran (photo, below) (both Year Eight) – Key Stage Three Highly Commended; Chris (Year Eight) and Aksh (Year Seven) – Key Stage Three Commended.
Our Key Stage Four Winners were Jahan (Year Ten) and Vedanth (Year 9); Key Stage Four Highly Commended entrants were Sudersen (Year Nine) and Aryaman (Year Ten); Key Stage Four Commended poets were Alexander (Year Ten) and Siddard (Year Nine). You can read the winners’ entries below; all our commended poets are published below.
Students wrote poetry inspired by a range of writers and ideas. In English lessons, all students were introduced to the poetry of Derek Walcott, St Lucian poet and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Some students wrote in the style of “Love After Love”, one of Walcott’s most famous poems; others took inspiration from myths, as Walcott did. Students were also encouraged to write for the national Black History Month poetry competition, which focused, as did Black History Month as a whole, on female figures. Poems described subjects as varied as Serena and Venus Williams (Yasser, Year Ten); Olive Morris (Ali, Year Nine); Kamala Harris (Reuel, Year Nine) and Shirley Chisholm (Haresh, Year Ten). There was extremely stylish writing from Shankar (Year Ten), who used perspective compellingly and Siddharth (7B) who wrote a very powerful, detailed poem.
All our English staff really enjoyed reading the entries and are very proud of the generation of poets here at Wilson’s! The competition also generated many house points; the top three houses represented were Hayes, Camberwell and Southwark. You can see some of the poets pictured here!
Amidst the chaos of screens that gleam,
A new kind of dream,
A digital stream,
Like Narcissus, by selfies,
I'm often amazed,
In the world of filters,
Where my image is praised.
In this age of pixels,
Where beauty's defined,
I seek deeper truths,
In the depths of my mind.
For behind the filters,
Beyond the simulation,
I long for a self,
Not a mere imitation.
In selfies and snapshots,
We capture a glance,
Yet it's in life's true moments,
Our souls have a chance.
To uncover the real,
Beyond likes and praise.
In a world of illusions,
Where authenticity stays.
So amidst the chaos of screens,
I'll find my way,
A journey of self in the digital display.
In the modern age's hustle and blaze,
I'll discover the truth in its myriad of ways.
They are all here.
Through all these years,
they have always been here.
What do you say to them?
What can you say to them?
Could you, perhaps, invite them out to a restaurant,
or, maybe, finish that life-long dream of yours.
Then again, you could just share your favourite book with them,
or, if you please, walk through the fields with them.
But, of course, you can start with sorry.
Sorry, for all the times they were ignored.
Sorry, for all the attention you took away from them.
Sorry, for your priorities being incorrect.
Sorry, for all the things you never shared with them.
Sorry for all the times you lost them.
Then, when the healing is done,
that is when you will find yourself.
And you can look back on your life,
and finally, you can confidently say:
A new chapter has begun.
The moment that warm, marigold aircraft arose off the dew-filled meadows,
It’s grand wings cutting through the sunset,
“Brave Bessie” was not only the first black woman to fly,
The first black woman to tame the metal beast of the skies,
She flew over far more than that.
“Queen Bess” flew over everything that day,
Over the hills and walls of oppression, and bigotry,
The gates of sexism, prejudice and judgment.
As the people of Texas watched as “Jenny” the plane soared passed,
Expecting a white man to occupy the cockpit,
Bessie Coleman would be there, black skin gleaming in the light,
Like onyx to the light.
“Queen Bess” flew over her limits,
The limits her complexion and long hair cage her away in,
Gliding past the fortress the words of the white man built.
Up in the clouds, there were no boundaries,
No thresholds or borders,
Up there Bessie was truly free,
Just as the wind, as it brushed by the propellers of the plane.
As the sun set, concealing itself beyond the American horizon,
And the sky darkened to an obsidian sheet,
“Jenny” wavered through true equality: the sky,
One solid layer of colour, of darkness.
No one slither, or spec of the midnight overhead different,
One unison of the above.
Bessie reached a new level that day,
A step towards a world, like that midnight sky,
So close to it she could almost taste it.
The Black Ballerina
Your feet too flat,
Your hair too wild,
You can’t spin on the mat,
Bring in the next child.
I ran out from there and tried another.
Your muscles too big,
You’re way too tall,
Sorry but you ain’t getting a gig,
Dance isn’t your thing—ballet?—not at all.
Someone must take me, some way or other.
How do I explain?
Ballet isn't really your domain,
You could try running, maybe some track.
I grimaced in anguish—it looks like no one’s on my team.
Years have passed, decades even,
Those who smirked and laughed now at my feet
The very same feet which were too flat to believe in,
The very same critics have now accepted defeat.
Misty Copeland, they call me, but I’m really just the woman in every black girl’s dream.