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13 Clocks by Ester Carey

13 Clocks

On the 13th hour, boys turned into girls.

Girls played football at Wembley.

On the 13th hour, food was fussy about what people it would eat.

Seeds grew people.

On the 13th hour, trees and people grew younger.

And this book reads my mind.


This week's poem is one of an interesting batch from Tolworth Junior School, which is turning into a nest of young poets, judging by what the writing teacher Joe Powderly has sent us. In her poem, Ester Carey uses some simple devices to good effect. Look at the way she uses repetition to convey the mystery of the 13th hour and its power to turn the world upside down. Best of all are the surprises at every turn, the way each image - chosen carefully to be serious and true as well as wild and wonderful - tops the next.


Ester Carey, aged 11, receives Fatso in a Red Suit by Matthew Sweeney (Faber). Submitted by Joe Powderly of Tolworth Junior School, Douglas Road, Tolworth, Surrey KT6 7SA, who receives a set of Poetry Society posters with teachers' notes. For Poetry Society events, ring 0171 240 2133. Jo Shapcott is the Poetry Society's poet on the Internet:

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