Young Poet;Poem;A Change in the Weather by Emma Eccles

19th March 1999 at 00:00
Here is my house.

The weather is dry but damp.

The birds are stars,

The dog is the ground and everything around it.

The grass is as sharp as knives.

Sitting in my house at night

I feel the moving air around me,

The sparks touching my skin.

I long for the moment the sun rises

And I can go out and see

Light shimmering all around me.

The time comes; I go outside.

My house has been swimming.

Waves of water washing round my house.

No stars, no ground, no grass.

Water is calm but fierce.

Everything is a drizzle,

But I see more, I see

A land of water.

The birds are drips.

The grass is a huge wave

Swirling up and down.

I still see

A land of water.

Emma Eccles

The idea of change in this poem is shown to us through some cinematic images which force us to enter a world that is significantly different from the one we see everyday: one where birds are stars, a dog is the ground and the grass is sharp as knives. But it all starts with the simple-sounding alliterating twist of the weather being "dry but damp".

Hats off to Emma Eccles and her teacher, Betsy Barker, who were inspired by Sandy Brownjohn's exercise "Changes" in an after-school poetry club. "A Change in the Weather" shows what effects you can get if, once you get your idea, you are not too worried about it having to make sense. It does, of course, but obliquely, making the rest of us work harder to catch it.

Emma Eccles, aged 11, receives "Classic Poetry", selected by Michael Rosen (Walker Books). Submitted by Betsy Barker of Ormiston Primary School, East Lothian, who receives a set of Poetry Society posters with teacher's notes. Please send students' poems to 'TES' Young Poet, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. Anthony Wilson is Poetry Society poet-in-residence for primary education, and the author of 'How Far From Here Is Home?' (Stride) and co-author of 'The Poetry Book for Primary Schools' (Poetry Society)

Anthony Wilson

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