After a fascinating forage through the language of autumn leaves with young writers this month, I can’t wait to see what poetic treasures will emerge from my Fireworks and Winter Lights themes! In fact, I’ve already caught some thrilling glimpses through my latest workshops, where whirling leaves caught the light of lampposts and car lights, and spun into foggy skies like firework sparks.
We delved into the theme of winter lights, and how they seem to turn our towns into other things, at Headington Prep School, Oxford, on National Poetry Day. You can see a selection of their poems from the day here. Year 7 writers at Ysgol Bro Edern, Cardiff, also set the air buzzing with their mind-stretching metaphors on the theme on the eve of half term – and would they stop writing at the end of that Friday afternoon? No, I’m afraid I had to nag them! Hoping to receive some of their poetic gems to display on my site soon.
Fireworks, like autumn leaves, are boundless in their poetic potential. What with their sounds, colours, movements, shapes and patterns, not to mention the starry void (or miserable downpour?) through which they fly and fade, or the merry crowds below, peering up through fog, smoke and darkness, there’s no shortage of inspirational starting points! Besides, children will have other starting points of their own, not touched on in that list. No mind is the same, as poetry demonstrates.
As for winter lights – well, they twist and meld with my firework theme, of course, and vice versa, but lights can be so many other things too: cats’ eyes – real and road-type, or the necklaces of streetlights above; stained glass windows, lit from within; the glint of a candle in a window; the glare of a search light in your face… But what do those glows and glints and glares represent? Just buildings and traffic? Anything but! And just how dark are the shadows, and how stark the winter trees in the moonlight? Don’t worry, though! We’ll be gazing at Christmas trees and fairy lights too, and celebrating the warm, cosy colours of Christmas.
Yes, November and December offer up creative possibilities galore, and I’ll be venturing through them with children aged 3 to 13 in schools across England and Wales. If you or your school are interested, please get in touch!
Tel. 01446 760124