Many thanks to all of the children who entered our poetry competition for World Poetry Day 2022!

We received some amazing entries, all creatively sharing a passion for nature and writing. 

Our judge, local poet Amanda Hampson and author of the book 'Wiltshire in Poetry', told us that judging was not easy, as many of the entries were both inspiring and imaginative.

Below are our winning entries!

Ages 3-8:

Winner: Alice Robson, age 8 with her poem called 'The Ominous Owl'.
Alice's poem about the owl is simple, and shows imaginative use of simile, whilst appreciating the use of white space on the page.

Ominous Owl

My beady black eyes hypnotise my unwilling prey. I stab them with my fork-like talons, shredding their poor, unfortunate bodies.

                    I am the ominous owl.

My ghost-white face glows like powder from a lady’s daily make-up kit. I dive like a failing, feathered aeroplane.

                    I am the ominous owl.

My beak is like a pyramid of Egypt. I pinch my perfect prey in my tweezer-like grasp.

                    I am the ominous owl.

I’m an ersatz professor, a simply marvellous sight to see.

I twirl around like a ballerina, it’s me, the star of the sky. I’m agile and silent and daring and sly.

                    I am the ominous owl.

Commendation: Cotty Vicary age 8, with her poem called 'I am a Bird'.
Cotty's poem about the bird is superbly imaginative, using personification to good effect. 

I am a Bird

If I was a bird

I could fly to Japan

where my grandparents live.

How long will it take to get there?

I wonder if I can arrive safely.

 

If it rains,

maybe I should take shelter

from the rain with the mast of the ship.

 

If I could get to my grandparents' house,

how can they tell me this bird is me?

 

Let's hold a pencil to the beak and write my name.

Let's line up the stones and write my name.

Let's sing the song we sang together.

 

Even if they don't realize that this bird is me,

let's stop at a tree branch and see how they are doing.

 

Yes, there are things that only birds can do.

 

Shall I perch on the top of Tokyo Tower

and enjoy the view of the whole of Tokyo?

 

Shall I perch on the geisha's hair

and pretend to be a hairpin?

 

Shall I perch on top of the Shinkansen

and feel the breeze?

 

I will enjoy all of the experience as a bird.

 

One day,

children around the world will know

about my story of becoming a bird,

if I become a best-selling author

Ages 9-14:

Winner: Rose Goddard age 11, for 'I Dreamed a Dream'
Rose uses rhyming structure well, and shows sensitive handling of a topical subject.

I Dreamed a Dream

I dreamed a dream

Where the sycamores blew in a cooling evening breeze,

Where the flowers, beetles, bugs and birds,

Lived in harmony with the trees.

 

A world that fitted so beautifully,

Like a jigsaw made as one,

In which we used resources sparingly,

And we cared for everyone.

 

But I woke to a living nightmare,

In which our puzzle has fallen apart!

Climate change and pollution

Clog my lungs and break my heart,

 

Fish compete with plastic

In our warming, troubled oceans.

Not many mourn the species lost –

They’re just going through the motions.

 

I one dreamed of our restless world,

Where there was an easy cure

For all the polluted problems,

But the answer is still unsure.

 

I dreamed a dream of a perfect world

Where mistakes were far between.

But the harsh reality I wake to

Means it’s time to intervene.

Commendation: Anna Shanks age 9, for 'Oh Pretty Nature'
I loved Anna's hand-written entry, with its lovely sentiments and delicate rhyming.

Oh Pretty Nature

Oh Pretty Nature,

Where have you gone?

Now we’re so used to this urban song.

We cut you down,

to make a new town.

Now what was once yours is now ours.

We missed your pretty sound at dawn,

so we placed you in our lawn,

and there you will stay,

in your slumbering lay,

until you regain your strength.