Poetry Together is very pleased to be able to introduce the second blog from Feversham College. The first blog was about the experience that Lisa and her student Safeerah had of writing a poem together. The following reflections are from Year 8 students who tried Poetry Together with their families and friends. These are really fantastic! Thank you so much to all the students and their teacher Lisa Altobelli for sharing these thoughts.
Hanaa: When I first learnt about this task I thought no one would do it with me. I thought of doing it about the first day of school and my mum enjoyed school when she was younger so I decide to do it with her and put our different points of view across. I don’t really like school and my mum does so the contrast in the poem would be good. We went through the different stages of going to school so waking up, getting ready, transportation, and then first impressions. I think that my final piece is okay. Whilst working with my mum she had a few funny stories and those made me laugh…
Ruquayyah: I wanted to write a poem I felt strongly about. A subject I could describe in a poem which people could understand the way I thought.
Mum: The biggest challenge for me was explaining my idea and put my imagination on paper. The other thing I was struggling with was, to describe my vision in a poem.
Ruquayyah: The best part was, when the whole poem came together in a couple of stanzas and when I was describing our subject.
Mum: It was difficult to put my ideas in to writing, I wanted to use the correct words for my poem. The best part for me was when the poem all came in to a big description. The poem had two completely different perspective of one subject.
Halima: When Mrs Altobelii first told us about the task the first question that came to my mind was who was I going to write the poem with and who would have a nice experience to share with me? Then I finally decided to write with my grandma because she was the one who had a lot of memories with and as she was old her life was totally different to mine as there were no laptops and cars and modern things invented so whatever we were going to write bout would be very interesting.
After a few suggestions we decided to do a poem on school exams because we knew that it would be curious to have the final piece. I started writing the first few lines of the poem first just to show my grandma the kind of thing that she has to do. We shared our thoughts back and forth and before we knew it the poem was finished. When I looked at the final piece I had to go back to make amendments and change it in my own type of style but overall it was brilliant and I loved it. The thing that I loved with making the poem was finding out more interesting facts about my grandma’s life I found out things that I never knew before and we just spend some time together. The experience could have been improved if my grandma knew properly on how to write a poem and the structure because that would of helped me a lot. But overall I really enjoyed it and I would love to do it again maybe with another person like my mum or my dad.
Ayman: When I first got the task, I thought of my sister who had an attempt to cook although she was horrible at it and decided we should write down what we thought of it and how we felt about it. My sister began writing how she felt when she thought of her cooking. I then wrote about when I tasted it and how I felt and what she might think about it. We began writing one stanza at a time. When I read it, I thought it was well written, detailed and had been neatly set out in chronological order. I enjoyed spending time with my sister and having a laugh about writing the poem. The task showed what we differed and our perspectives of the experience.
Ayman’s sister Hibah: It was fun working with my sister as we don’t really do serious but fun things together and it made me realise my sister is actually clever and can do something smart. At first it was a little weird as I have never wrote a poem with her. But as we began writing I enjoyed it as I saw her opinion and amazing ideas. As I read the poem overall I thought to myself how brilliant we were when we put our heads together.
Amani: Our poem was about a bag that my mum liked but I didn’t, but as soon as I found out that it was designer I loved it. During this experience I learnt to write with other people’s style of writing. I think this developed my style of writing and I really enjoyed this. I also learnt the truth that my mum really did like the design of the bag even though I only liked it for the name! I think the best part was looking at the end result and it made me proud of our work.
Amani’s Mum: The biggest challenge was definitely deciding what to write our poem about. We couldn’t find something we both liked to write about. When we finally started, I think the poem flowed and the end result was really good. I really enjoyed this experience.
Amani: I think the biggest challenge was actually describing my feelings as I could only think of one word – “speechless”. Overall I was glad with the final result and I think it turned out really well.
Amani’s Mum: I really enjoyed this experience and even though our poem was really short I think it was really effective.
Amani: I enjoyed using other people’s ideas and I hope I can do something like this again.
Hafsa: The biggest challenge for me, was deciding what the theme of the poem would be about. It was hard because we had too many ideas and shared experiences. There was an endless possibility! Eventually, we decided writing about something that we both had different perspectives on. I wrote about how terrified I was the first time I went on a rollercoaster, and she wrote about how thrilling it feels when she always goes on one. It was a bit awkward at first, but after a while it seemed fun.
Hafsa’s cousin: The biggest challenge for me was sharing my feelings because it was uncomfortable as we don’t normally talk about these things. But after we started writing a few stanzas, it actually became a bit fun and very enjoyable.
Hafsa: The best thing about writing ‘Poetry Together’ for me, was sharing my ideas and coming up with something unique at the end. I really enjoyed it and it was fun to share our different experiences.
Hafsa’s cousin: The best thing about taking part in ‘Poetry Together’ for me, was getting to know the person I was writing with better, because we don’t usually talk about that kind of thing, so it was nice to share our feelings and put them into a poem.
Hafsa: All in all, it was a really fun competition.
Hafsa’s cousin: I think it is a very good opportunity for young people to get together, and be aware of the people around them. Overall, I think it was a really enjoyable competition.
Thawidah: I contemplated a lot on who I wanted to do my poem with and then narrowed my options down to two people; my mum and my grandma and in the end I chose my grandma because I love her a lot and it was a very spiritual journey for her.
When I first learnt about this task I was really confused and puzzled with what we were doing but then as I got all my ideas together, I was really fascinated and immersed into the assignment.
What I enjoyed was that I spent more time with my grandma and really connected to her.
Thawidah’s Grandma: I enjoyed working with my granddaughter as I spent more time with her and bonded with her also I realised that not only is she socially smart but she is academically intelligent too.
Khadijah: The most difficult task was to find someone to write it with. The first time I heard the task I was surprised and wandered right away what to do I was confused, really confused!! At first I decided to write it with my parents as I live with them and it would easier as we have shared a lot of feelings, experiences and memories. However, I changed my mind because I thought that I couldn’t really write my feelings down as I can with my auntie therefore I went to my aunties house and decided to write it with her.
Khadijah’s Auntie: She explained the task to me, I was very confused but then I got it gradually.
Khadijah: I found it hard to write it with her as we couldn’t think of anything to write the partner poem about. At first we thought to do it about the family trip to Light Water Valley but decided to write it about the time that we went on a trip as a family to the waterpark. It wasn’t an exciting topic but it was good enough.
Khadijah’s Auntie: I had a range of ideas, but she didn’t like them so I let her do what she wanted and the idea of the waterpark was boring but it got the job done. We weren’t very close that we’d go on lots of experiences together but we still did have some attached memories that now that I think about it would’ve made a better poem than that one.
Khadijah: I wanted to make my auntie start off first because I don’t think I’m great at starting poems at all but turns out my auntie wasn’t too good at it too so I was the bigger person and wrote a line. My auntie tried adding humour to her part – I thought it wasn’t working but I let her.
Khadijah’s Auntie: I didn’t like poems nor was I good at writing them because I liked stories more so I made her start.
Khadijah: We both talked to each other about what went where, like a short sentence or emotive language. It was confusing at first as we are both not that good at writing ideas down.
Khadijah’s Auntie: This was hard for me, but I tried my best and used her to help me. I also made her write the last line because I don’t like starting OR ending the poem. Hah!
Khadijah: Another hard task was to name the poem therefore we left that to last. We thought had we both had emotions that kept changing in the poem so we just decided to keep it simple by calling it Mixed Emotions.
Khadijah’s Auntie: Maybe the Exhausting Water Trip – no, it didn’t sound right I mean it was only a small trip.
Khadijah: After it was done I realised that the structure was not like a poem at all nor were the lines. Oh well…
Khadijah’s Auntie: Yeah she was right, it wasn’t much like a poem but a story. A partner story.
Khadijah: I enjoyed a lot of the experience because I found it fun writing with my auntie because I got to know her thoughts even though she did exaggerate it a bit but I got the main picture, at least I know what she felt on that trip. Overall, it was an amazing idea for us to do a poem together because we enjoyed each other’s company.
Khadijah’s Auntie: I liked it. It was fun and also we don’t really have any auntie, niece time together about writing. Through this opportunity it gave a wider picture of our memories, feelings and experiences together. This was an amazing moment together.
Miriam: When I was first given this task, I wasn’t sure what to write about or whether anyone would do it with me. The first person I thought of was my mum as she wrote poetry in Urdu when she was younger and lived in Pakistan.
After my mum said she would do it with me we weren’t very sure on what to write it about. We eventually decided to do it about spring.
My favourite thing about this task was doing a poem with someone else.
Miriam’s mum: It was hard to translate for me to say my words in English instead of Urdu, so my daughter had to translate my words into English. The best part was working with my daughter.
Zaina: I think the biggest challenge would be finding someone to write with and deciding on what we would both want to write about.
Zaina’s auntie: I think the best part of writing this poem with my niece was both of us expressing our ideas and forming them into one poem. She was a really fun person to work with but got quite stressed out when it came to the part where we had to think of our ideas and combine them. She was feeling quite enthusiastic about writing this poem with me.
Zaina: Both of our writing styles were quite similar as we wanted our poem to have the same kind of structure. My auntie is a brilliant poem writer as she has had lots of experience at this before. Together we combined our ideas and came up with a unique masterpiece that we both agreed upon.
Zaina’s auntie: All in all I thought it was a great experience writing a joined poem.
If you want to take part in the Poetry Together competition, it’s easy! Just click here for more details.