TES Young Poet of the Week

16th May 1997 at 01:00
I often get a kick out of poems which immerse the reader in a microscopically faithful view of things. This week's young poet, Rebecca Campbell, helps herself to get close to a cheese grater by imagining herself to be a piece of cheese.

Unless she'd looked as hard as any painter at her subject, she could never have come up with such accurate and surprising images to describe it. I shall never look at this particular kitchen implement again without seeing "little tunnelsOn a towering skyscraper". Many of the poems I'm sent are centred on the page like this one. Too often I'm not sure why and I worry that in some cases there's no good reason beyond the fact that the computer can do it quickly. In Rebecca's poem the centring adds something to the slithery feel of the lines which are set out long and short haphazardly: a bit like grated cheese perhaps?

Grated Cheese by Rebecca Campbell

I lie here on the table Waiting, waiting to be cut into thin slithers Here it comes, Many sharp edged circles And little tunnels On a towering skyscraper.

I'm picked up, Scraped along the shiny, silvery surface, I'm torn apart, Grazed and sore all over, As I get smaller and smaller.

Rebecca Campbell, aged nine, receives Fatso in a Red Suit by Matthew Sweeney (Faber). Submitted by Trudy Feltham of Neston county primary school, Corsham, Wiltshire, 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: http.www.PoetrySoc.com.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today