I am the Queen of the Stars
I weave and spin by the light of the moon.
I am the Gifted
I am the talented Creator.
I work my magic on everyone I meet.
I am the Golden Beauty within,
I am the experience without.
I know the knowing that is known.
I am the unique Princess.
I am the most special ever.
I have the individual power of succession
I am the Ruler of Confidence.
I am the Empress of Shyness.
I have the wisdom and talent
and I will make it.
Yes I will.
Holli Dillon, 13,Alderman Blaxhill school, Colchester, Essex
Poetry is one of the few areas left where we can talk about beauty. Even art seems to have reneged on it. It has become old-fashioned, even taboo. But I feel it is one of my responsibilities as a poet, one of my privileges, to keep in touch with it. To recognise it and try to understand it. Many of us, if asked to name their most beautiful poem or poems, would name the Psalms. And no poet has been more influenced by them than Walt Whitman, the man who wrote the first and last great song of the 19th century, "Song of Myself".
Holli Dillon seems to be following naturally in this tradition, in a voice at once majestic and persuasive. She opens with the bold line "I am the Goddess" and then proceeds to get bolder and bolder: "I am the most special everI I am the Ruler of ConfidenceI" An awesome poem, it is impossible to ignore. And the fact that the poem "arose out of work on the topic of human rights" makes it all the more impressive. Thank you, Holli.
PS. My favourite words (see last week's column) are orchestra and carthorse. Now try this one: which do you think is the odd one out of deft, first, calmness, canopy, vole and hijack?
Holli Dillon receives Emergency Kit: poems for strange times, edited by Jo Shapcott and Matthew Sweeney (Faber). Her poem was submitted by Eileen Lumber. Selima Hill, TESguest poet for this term, won this year's Whitbread poetry prize for Bunny. She is a tutor for the Poetry School and the South Bank Centre, and is currently working on her eighth collection, Portrait of My Lover as a Horse. Please send poems, no longer than 20 lines, to Friday magazine, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX. Include the poet's name, age and address, the name of the submitting teacher and the school address. Or email: email@example.com