TES Young Poet Of The Week

23rd November 1995 at 00:00
The River Cat

The river is like a grey cat.

Slinking through the fields,

Purring as it goes.

Intent on slipping through the

green leaves

Without scaring the birds

Stealthily on its way.

By Vicky Oates, aged nine, who receives Great Snakes (VikingPuffin). Submitted by Lin Newstead of St Andrews CEVA primary school, North Lopham, Norfolk, who receives the Poetry Society's teacher's newsletter, a quarterly bulletin which includes features on innovative approaches to poetry in the classroom. For Poetry Society events, ring 0171 240 4810.

Here's a delightful little poem based on a single very effective image. I think if I'd been writing it, I'd have put the last line fourth; it seems to me otherwise perfect, the grey balancing the green, the fields off-setting the leaves as the crafty predator "slinks", the well-chosen adjective "intent" reverberating with meaning.

Next term's guest poet will be Wendy Cope, best known for her two witty collections, Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis (1986) and Serious Concerns (1992), published by Faber. More recently she has edited The Orchard Book of Funny Poems and appears in Macmillan's Another Day on Your Foot and I Would Have Died for over-7s, to be published in January.

Poems up to 20 lines long, on any subject, should be sent to The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY by December 15. Please include the poet's name, age and school and the teacher's name.

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