Angling" is chosen from an anthology written by Warwickshire school children during the course of Andrew Fusek Peter's time working with them as poet-in-residence.
The anthology is a remarkable achievement, and goes a long way to challenge any idea that poetry cannot be taught, or that young people cannot tackle highly demanding forms and concepts of verse. It includes experiments with traditional sonnnets, rhyme-schemes and syllabics as well as complex imagery. With all those formal experiments to choose from, I kept finding myself turning back to this tiny stark poem, and had to conclude that it was my favourite. It's as near to perfect as any poem should be. It's unforgettable. It doesn't waste a single syllable. It changes the way I see trees and birds and fish. It even sneaks in a subtle rhyme at the end, as if to hook the reader who is floating through the pages like an unwary "feathered fish" looking for a place to land.
SIAN HUGHES. Each Year 1011 pupil at St Thomas More School, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, will receive a poetry book. The school also receives a set of Poetry Society posters with teacher's notes. Submitted by Andrew Fusek Peters, poet-in-residence to Warwickshire schools. Please send students' poems to The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. Sian Hughes was a winner in the TLSPoems on the Underground competition in 1996, since when her poems have appeared in 'The North', 'Writing Women' and 'London Magazine'. A short collection, 'Saltpetre', was published by SmithDoorstop Books last month
ANGLING Tree tall as a fishing rod,
With buds for bait
In a pool of sky
Feathered fish float by.
St Thomas More School (left)