When you mention the word ‘poetry’, you will probably get mixed reactions from people. For some, poetry is a beautiful and descriptive way of conjuring up a story, a situation, feelings or images. For others, it is a confusing jumble of words that seem to make something straightforward very complicated. But, in actual fact, there is poetry all around us that we enjoy every day – song lyrics, messages in greetings cards, nursery rhymes, adverts, jingles and well loved quotes. When you come across a piece of poetry that you like, you will often find yourself wanting to know more about what the words mean and why they affect you. It may be the rhythm, or lack of it; it may be the style of the language used to create effect; or it may be the use of literary devices such as similes, metaphors and alliteration to make the poetry more interesting and meaningful. Some poems you will like and others you won’t, but that is no different to art. The key is to try and appreciate what the poet or lyricist has tried to achieve and then decide for yourself whether or not they were successful.
A poem really come to life when it is read aloud by someone who really loves and appreciates it. Today was an opportunity for me to listen to a number of poems chosen by the year 9 girls based on what appealed to them. The judges judged how well each poem was interpreted and delivered. All the girls gave a great performance, some were funny and some were serious but the winner was Sarah Beard with a great reading of ‘ Caged Bird’ by Maya Angelou.

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