As part of a series of lessons focused on teaching the creative writing of poetry, pupils from Lochend Community High School, Easterhouse, Glasgow, have been sharpening their skills on various forms of poetry. Eleanor Bell, teacher of English, said, “The S1 section I have been teaching this session are quite an able class and I thought they would relish the opportunity to extend their creativity through a challenging context.”
The class began by looking at more concise forms of poetry such as limerick and haiku but soon progressed to the lengthier sonnet.
Mrs Bell explained, “The stimulus for the writing of the sonnets came from two related sources: a series of visual images and a class discussion after watching the BBC documentary The Toughest Place to be a Binman.”
Below are three of the sonnets written by the pupils.
Diary of an Earthquake
An earthquake has to creep on us that way.
The bonnie lassie’s heart has broken been.
Why did I have to wake up on this day?
I am so scared and help has not been seen.
I miss my fam’ly since we’ve been apart.
Please rescue me and show that you do care.
My horses have gone missing from the cart.
The people dying, is this really fair?
All scratched and bruised by Mother Nature’s wrath.
Nothing is stopping me from feeling fear.
I’m searching for the right way down the path.
I feel as if my life, its end is near.
The stars are falling down on me tonight.
I hope that in the morn will come the light.
Shannon Connolly, Chloe McBride,
Morgane McGregor, Bobbi Thomson
The weather is so frightful late at night.
The clouds make the sky really misty now.
The children are wrapped up all warm and tight ,
Wind making water go throughout the town.
Bare branches beckon to the passing sky
Birds flying high above the glistening stream,
The rising sun to wake the world does try,
The weather changing everybody’s dream.
The day went on as they had lots of fun
The smiles return to faces wracked by pain;
The fathers playing football with their sons,
The mothers brushing leaves off of the lane.
The smiles will start to go as the sun sets
As people start to think of their regrets.
Alana Duffy, Teighan Findlay, Chantelle Martin,
Caitlyn Philp, Robyn Purcell
Sonnet of Sorrow
The scenery is far from beautiful
The broken boats and poor folk everywhere.
A constant search for food yet ne’er full
The rich people not e’er willing to share.
The scorching heat changes to freezing nights.
The weather means that they can get no rest
For some there’s not a good future in sight
But help would take a weight off of their chest.
Water surrounds them but they are ne’er clean
Is shelter, food and drink too much to ask?
This must be the saddest they have e’er been
Arising in the morning is a task.
It’s very far from living like a king,
Smiles and good lives is what money could bring.
By Erin O’Donnell & Rose McEnroe
Bobbi Thomson, an S1 pupil and one of the poets involved in the project, said, “I thoroughly enjoyed writing the poem which came as a bit of a surprise as I haven’t really liked doing this kind of stuff previously. The sonnet was a new form for me – I had heard of the other types of poem before – and at first I found it quite difficult but as we worked on it in our small groups it became easier. I think I would like to try writing one all by myself now.”
Gordon Fisher, Principal Teacher of English and Languages at Lochend said, “This is another showcase for the wonderfully creative talents of a number of the pupils at Lochend and yet another example of Mrs Bell’s great teaching, ability to engage pupils and bring learning to life.”