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Christ’s Hospital’s record of success in the national Poetry By Heart competition continued when Chara (GE/Year 11) was declared the winner of the West Sussex competition in the KS4 category.
Chara’s victory was all the more remarkable since, after winning the school competition, Chara learned her entry would have been invalid owing to a technicality. She learned a third poem in just 24 hours and still came out on top in the county contest. The judges commented favourably, mentioning ‘a wonderful rich timbre to the voice’ which made her recitation of ‘A Blockhead’ compelling, while in ‘A Martian Sends a Postcard Home’ they said ‘Chara conveyed a strong sense of the curiosity and strangeness at the centre of the poem.
Our senior entry, Andrew (DG/ Year 12), was commended in the KS5 contest in spite of also having transgressed by learning two nineteenth century poems, including ‘Kubla Khan’ by Christ’s Hospital’s very own poet in ghostly residence Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The judges described Andrew’s performances as ‘two recitations which would not look out of place as finalists’ videos on Poetry By Heart’s website. ‘Both were reflective of thoughtful, well considered engagement and avoided spurious drama in an understated delivery that was attentive to sense and musicality.’
We are already looking forward to 2021 when these two will go head to head with the ultimate aim of emulating pupil Indigo, who brought the national PBH trophy back to CH in 2017.