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Posted on January 27th 2020
Young Poets Perform at Tower of London
Last week, Ms Bailey’s Year 8 English class went to the Tower of London as part of the Young City Poets Project.
This annual project, arranged and funded by The National Literacy Trust, gives pupils the opportunity to visit famous cultural venues in their city, using the visits to inspire poetry. This is HAB’s third year taking part in the fabulous creative writing project.
Before a special poetry workshop, the girls toured a luxurious royal bedroom and a sinister prison that held potential traitors of the British monarchy.
As part of their tour, the girls were lucky enough to see the Crown Jewels up close and personal. The Head of Security, Gareth, whose job it is to look after the Crown Jewels, arranged for the HAB girls to peruse the priceless jewels at their own pace. The class could not get enough of the Crown Jewels and would have spent the whole day revolving round on the moving walkway if they did not have to get back to the all-important act of writing their poems!
During their time at the Tower, the girls learnt about the history of the breath-taking Koh-i-Nur diamond that can be found set into the Queen Mother’s Crown. It is the bloody history of this magnificent diamond that was the inspiration for the poetry workshop that followed. During the workshop our girls wrote some outstanding poetry (see below) exploring the beauty of the diamond and the difficult history of British imperialism that surrounds it.
The students wrote their poems into their very own poetry note books that were gifted to them by the National Literacy Trust. The gasps of surprise and delight were audible when we presented the girls with their stylish notebooks.
At the end of the visit, students performed their outstanding work for the tourists who were leaving the room that contains the Crown Jewels. The girls’ words helped the audience to see the Crown Jewels in a new light.
What students said...
- "I felt a bit shy when I was performing my poem to the public but I’m real proud of myself for being so brave!" Andriele
- "I learnt so much fun information on our trips. The Tower of London is full of stories about death and murder." Lea
- "I really enjoyed seeing the Crown Jewels especially now I know that they are REAL!" Aliyay
- "The diamonds were so inspiring. I’d love to have one the size of the Koh-i-Nur." Susan
- "It was really interesting to find out the history behind the diamonds. The Crown Jewels really are magnificent!" Isabella
- "Seeing the crown jewels for inspiration made writing my poem so much easier." Ainara
A selection of poetry produced on the day
Fit for a Queen
Opulent, bright, priceless
A dark history emerges from the luxurious sparkle
It tastes of blood
Blue as the cold souls it touched
A diamond as dazzling as can be
The Koh-i-Nur shines bright
Under the dazzling light
It is smooth and sharp
Like the glassy surface of a calm pond
The echoes of silver swords clash against one another
Betrayal and fear lurks around the luminous diamond
The Koh-i-Nur, The Mountain Of Light,
A shooting star high up in the sky
The mountain of light,
More like the stench of death.
It sounds like the cries of the innocent lives it has destroyed
Like stabbing my heart with my own knives
The taste of rage and regret fills the night sky
The darkness that hides inside has now been seen.
As the diamond shines the truth is revealed
The sad souls can now been released.
Behind the opulent, dazzling diamond
The dark, cold past shines out
The whisper of Duleep’s tears
Stream down his cold face
The Koh-i-Nur tastes of ice: cold and hard
It shines like the stars in the sky,
The Diamond, The Diamond.
It feels like a deer,
in the bloody jaws of a lion.
The Koh-i-Nur has stolen a life,
The whispers of separated souls hover around.
The Diamond, the Diamond
It feels like the crushed shell of a snail
The Diamond, the Diamond