TES Young Poet Of The Week

17th March 1995 at 00:00
How can you buy or sell the sky,

The butterfly's wing

Or the birds that sing?

How could you kill the fast cheetah

Or the last leopard

Or the lion's roar?

There should be a law

By Thomas Higgins, nine, who receives Chasing the Sun: a journey around the world in verse (Simon and Schuster), edited by Sally Bacon. Submitted by Sue Lonsdale of Cawood CE Primary School, Selby, North Yorkshire, who receives the Poetry Society teachers' newsletter. Please submit poems, up to 20 lines, by March 31, to The TES Young Poet, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY, with the name and address of the school, the name and age of the pupil and the teacher's name. Submitted work cannot be returned.

Writing a poem as a letter, and filling it full of questions, are both good ploys for involving the reader in the poem. This is especially useful when its concerns are as upfront as here, but the poet never resorts to abstractions, rather sticks wisely to concrete details like "the butterfly's wing" or "the lion's roar", trusting that they will suggest the entire world of creatures hunted. And listen to the cadence of the last three lines of the letter.

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