TES Young Poet of the Week

2nd February 1996 at 00:00

I am born above others,

My kin beside me.

I am a servant to my master,

Bringing him life,

Till the moment I fall.

And then my job is done

And I drop through the damp air,

Hovering briefly above the ground,

Then falling and fluttering,

Veins protruding,

Death approaching.

By Owain Robertson, aged nine, who receives The Orchard Book of Funny Poems compiled by Wendy Cope. Submitted by Len Mullan of The Old Hall School, Wellington, Shropshire, who receives the Poetry Society's teachers' newsletter, a quarterly bulletin which includes features on innovative approaches to poetry in the classroom. For Poetry Society events ring 0171 240 4810.

I acknowledge that leaves have featured rather strongly in my choice of poems this term. It isn't that I have any prejudice in favour of nature poems - far from it. But most of the best work has been about the natural world -evidence, perhaps, of the value of encouraging children to focus on something specific that they can see.

Owain's poem, according to his teacher's letter, emerged from a study of Anglo-Saxon riddles. His presentation of the leaf as high-born and loyal servant is both original and very accomplished. And it is accurate about leaves too, which is important. Other children in Mr Mullan's class have written good riddles, haiku and dramatic monologues. Well done.

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