Poetry By Heart Competition
CH celebrated the return of the national Poetry By Heart contest with a fiercely contested competition.
In the Key Stage 4 contest Taylor (UF/Year 10) was runner-up, just edged out by Chara (GE/Year 11), who took the honours with her wonderfully sinuous performances of Envy by Adelaide Ann Procter and A Blockhead by Amy Lowell.
In the senior (KS5) competition, meanwhile, Stuti (DG/Year 12), reciting Emily Bronte and Michael Donaghy, was just edged out by Andrew’s (DG/Year 12) brilliant Romantic One-Two of Shelley’s Ozymandias and Kubla Khan by CH’s own poet-in-residence, Coleridge.
However, as that great poet Errol Brown of Hot Chocolate fame famously sang, Everyone’s a Winner; certainly the brilliant competitors, but also the judges – Miss Purvis, Mrs Bridgman and Mr Drummond – who had the great treat of listening to half an hour’s wonderful recitation.
Government cuts meant that Poetry By Heart had been missing for a year or two – those with long memories may recall that in 2017 CH pupil Indigo won the national competition. Andrew and Chara’s performances have been taped and uploaded to the competition site for judging.
Poetry By Heart is an inspiring competition for students in schools to learn and to recite poems by heart. Not in an arm-waving, props-supported thespian extravaganza, but as the outward and audible manifestation of an inwardly-understood and enjoyed poem.
The competition is a pyramid of participation from individual classrooms to whole school/college contests, then county contests, regional semi-finals and the grand final. In the process, pupils foster deep personal connections with the poems chosen and bring poetry alive for their friends, families and communities.
Poetry By Heart successfully engages young people from diverse social backgrounds and all types of school in personal discovery of the pleasures of poetry.