What's really attractive about this poem is its individual energy. It's based on a Miroslav Holub poem and isn't dwarfed by it, because Luke has made the idea his own. I'm left with a personal account of someone obsessed by cricket, uneasy about homework. I like the subtlety of the rabbit, too. And the bike. The "spelling mistake" is interesting, with a whole line to itself.
The poem could maybe do with another draft, to ease the formality left over from the translation. For instance, "There's a monster that can't be found" seems more in keeping with Luke's own voice. I'm not keen on poems that justify to the centre - which is a pattern given by the word-processor rather than by hearing where the line breaks should be. And is "sparkling" the right word? But even so, it's an outstanding poem.
A Boy's Head
In it there is a cricket match and a project for bringing a rabbit to life.
And there is a bike, that shall not be beaten.
And there is a sparkling new cricket ball a sparkling new stump a sparkling new cricket bat.
There is a monster that cannot be found.
There is everlasting homework.
There is a spelling mistake.
I believe that only what cannot be put together is a head.
Luke O'Hanlon, aged 11, receives 'The Poetry Book', edited by Fiona Waters (Orion). Submitted by Mr D C Price of The Latymer Preparatory School, west London, who receives a set of Poetry Society posters with teacher's notes. Please send poems to 'The TES', Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. Ann Sansom is writing tutor at Doncaster Women's Centre and is a part-time lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University. Her collections include 'Romance' (Bloodaxe)