Black History Month Poems

Inspired by Black History Month, the English department displayed specially created posters with extracts from 25 different poets. Writers highlighted included the poet Derek Walcott from St Lucia who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992 and the British-Trinidadian poet, Roger Robinson, who won the prestigious TS Eliot Prize in 2019.

Students were invited to respond to these poems, choosing to write poems of their own or completing research into the poets or the issues they highlighted. We are very grateful to everyone who took part. Choosing winners was difficult from a really significant entry but the judges decided on the following. We are hoping to add their work to the display.

Y7 Winners: Rishik Kar, Holly McClellan, Evie Murphy, Favour Oke, Annabelle Prowse

Y7 Commendations: Sara Griffin, Florence Hatton, Leon Lawrence, Harvey Robinson, Poppy Sanders, Bethany Maclean

Y8 Winners: Eish Mahajan, Annalise Prout

Y8 Commendations: Meg Archibald, Shivam Raj Mathur, Alex Yarde

Y9 Winners: Clem Barry, Pippa Faithfull

Y9 Commendations: Henry Clark, Mia Harding, Alexander Pessuto


Rishik Kar (continuing ‘I Sing of Change’ by the Nigerian poet, Niyi Osundare (1949-)

Of the colourful society
Biasing no colour
Mixing culture
Erasing all the lines
From within the mind

Of the one world
Beauteous flower bouquet
Of different flowers, different colours
Bringing joy and happiness
A melody of different notes
Singing all together hand in hand

I sing of a world reshaped.

Y8: Inspired by the French-Senegalese writer David Diop’s ‘The Vultures’, write a poem about your own hopes that share a positive vision of the future.

Eish Mahajan – My poem

I imagine a future
Where I protect my country from terrorism,
Where I maintain peace for my people,
Where I lead my pride of lions.
I imagine a future.
First, I must struggle with schoolwork.
Then I need to become fit and healthy.
But first I have stay focused and determined.
Now it’s hard to concentrate on my studies.
And it’s hard to stay fit,
As everything has been turned upside-down
By a plague from hell.
No face-to-face communication,
Everything online,
Giving me headaches,
Wasting all my time.
I chose the road to change,
Or I would fall down the tunnel to despair.
I am making my future
Eliminating distractions like soap kills germs,
Running 6 miles on a treadmill next to a mini Gurdwara,
On a table where I focus on my schoolwork,
Hope lives in my like a folded flag, waiting to unfurl.

Inspired by the poems of American writers Maya Angelou and Paul Laurence Dunbar, write a poem about ‘a caged bird’ .

Clem Barry

My Freedom is trapped,
caged like a bird
for when I cry out,
my voice is not heard.

When I’m alone
at night in my bed,
I try not to think
about the things they said.

His freedom is trapped
and there’s nothing he can do,
without the good help
of me and you.

That’s why he protests
along with this friend.
And they’ll fight and fight
till the bitter end.

Her freedom is trapped
although her soul is pure.
But the same can’t be said
for others, that’s sure.

Why yes, she’s sweet,
as soft as honey,
but the hate she received
was nowhere near funny.

Our freedom is trapped
yet our hearts beat together
and our glistening hope
will last forever.