TES Young Poet Of The Week

16th December 1994 at 00:00
In Special Care

Harsh breathing in the silent room,

As the struggle for life goes on,

Rushed talking all around,

Fragile lives,

Too frail to hold,

too precious to let go.

By Jo Holt, age 12, who receives an anthology of poetry. Submitted by J Secombe of Bishop Luffa School, Chichester, West Sussex, who receives the BPTeachers' Poetry Resource File, published by the Poetry Society. For Poetry Society events ring 071 240 4810

It is particularly difficult to carry off a large idea in a small poem. Every word weighs, and even one wrong step would change it utterly. The rhythm is important in this poem, and only the second and third lines, with their halting beat, and the word "life", so often ill-used, the vague "all around", made me pause. Yet this is "life" used aptly, and breath itself halts here. The sound and words of the final three lines are perfect.

This is the last poem chosen by Gillian Clarke for whose help in launching The TES Young Poet of the Week we are most grateful. Next term's poet will be Matthew Sweeney whose first choice will appear on January 6.

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