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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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National Poetry Day

Writers' Den contribution to National Poetry Day

Thursday 5 October 2023 was National Poetry Day, an annual celebration encouraging everyone to make, experience and share poetry with family and friends. The 2023 theme was Refuge.

At Cirencester Deer Park School, English Teacher Miss Flint runs a Writer's Den group open to pupils in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9. "I started Writer's Den as I enjoy writing poetry and experimenting with language and know there are pupils in this school who enjoy it just as much, if not more. We try to enter a competition (whether its poetry or prose) each term to boost confidence in showing off their writing and getting pupils to believe in the quality of their work."

Our Writers' Den contributors worked collaboratively to create this poem for National Poetry Day, based on the theme of 'Refuge' and using the image below as a starting point:

refuge theme


A continuous walk – an aching of limbs
But soon we shall find a place we are not sins.
An arm around me: for now, no more fleeing.
Unrecognised; not being seen as human beings.

Damp and cold but still so much longer,
We cry with fear like climbing each giant boulder.
Escape from the world beyond the trees.
To seek the song upon the breeze.

Eyes of stone: a gigantic core,
Working for freedom, reaching the shore.
Superman in disguise; my hero and unknowing saviour
Keeping us quiet in recognition of the “correct behaviour”.

“Sit tight, don’t fight, sit tight,
Stay quiet, don’t fight, save your might.”
Inferior to others,
Together we stand like brothers.

This could be the start or end,
I only have this letter which is impossible to send.
Scared, neglected, displaced: we seek,
Searching for a home week after week.

Refuge within the trees now bare,
Winter had fallen upon our air.
All the hazards to escape: cyclones, famine, deluge
Yet we are here now and can finally enjoy our refuge.

Some of our Writers' Den pupils commented:

"I've enjoyed thinking from a different perspective and from one which I hopefully will never experience."

"I normally prefer writing stories, but a rhyming couplet makes poetry seem a lot easier."

"I never liked poetry until I started writing it in lockdown - this really helped me."

Miss Flint: "I am so proud of this group of Key Stage 3 pupils for being so mature about the theme of refuge and challenging themselves to think about how they each want to communicate their voices."

national poetry day