TES young poet of the week

12th May 1995 at 01:00
Love ballad to a Scott Boulder mountain bike. 16in frame in metallic greysilver Pounds 625 ono

Scott, oh Scott, where have you gone?

with your chunky, grey

"Psycho" tyres, so precious

to me

No more Shimano Deore LX

derailleurs, or Mavic M236

rims, Tektro brake levers

simple, easy to hold

I'm not on a diet

but I've lost 27 pounds


Now you've gone away

I'm lost, in a flat land, clean,

without my double-butted chromoly frame,

what can I do?


By Ruth Hite, aged 14, who receives Michael Rosen's Mind the Gap (Scholastic). Submitted by Mr C Yates of Maharishi School, Ormskirk, Lancashire, who receives the Poetry Society teachers' newsletter, a quarterly bulletin which includes features on innovative approaches to poetry in the classroom as well as news on the latest resources. Poetry Society events: 0171 240 4810

One of the great disservices we do in the name of poetry is to suggest to children that some words are "poetic" and others aren't. What I like about Ruth Hite's poem is her relish for a much-loved object, a relish that comes all wrapped up with its jargon. You can hear her slavering over "Shimano Deore LX derailleurs" and that cheeky little "approx" in the third stanza kills me. There's a nice double-edge to being "lost in a flat land" - it's a fine image of dullness but it would also be a great place to go cycling . . . if you had your Scott Boulder bike.

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