Young poet

18th February 2000 at 00:00
I am the piano,

I rule the assembly.

When I play

Classes sing or listen;

I can annoy the teachers by playing the wrong


And make people happy by playing them right.

I really like playing the kids' favourites

But hate making them yawn;

I watch play rehearsals

And giggle or cry.

Noisy children file past:

I hear parts of stories,

Beginnings, middles and ends

But never the whole story.

People run past and sometimes bump into me,

But I don't really mind.

Latecomers signing in,

Preparing excuses.

When everyone's gathered

They wait for my sign,

One note gives the message

To stand in line.

I am the piano,

I rule the assembly.

The odd thing about this piano is that it thinks it plays, rather than gets played. And maybe it does, the way good poems write the poet, not the other way round. I love the way this piano plays wrong notes deliberately. And the way it distnguishes between "teachers" and "people". So it's a bit puzzling that the piano should refer to itself as a "creature". I suspect "School Creature" is just the name of a classroom exercise. maybe the title might re-use the double-meaning of "note", for instance: "A Note from the School Piano" perhaps.

Peter Sansom

Peter White, 10, Bishop's Stortford college junior school, Hertfordshire

Peter White receives This Poem Doesn't Rhyme, edited by Gerard Benson (Penguin). His poem was submitted by Dan O'Kane. Peter Sansom has published the handbook, Writing Poems, with Bloodaxe. His third Carcanet collection, partly about his Poetry Society Marks and Spencer residency, is published this year. Please send poems, not more than 20 lines, to Young Poet, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BXThe TES Book of Young Poets (pound;9.99), a selection of poems from this column, can be ordered by phoning 01454 617370. A set of posters is available for pound;3.99

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