Pupils produce outstanding Work in annual Poetry Competition

After a fierce and stimulating discussion, the judges of this year’s Poetry Competition have decided to award a runner-up for both Senior School and Sixth Form categories, and an overall winner.                  

This year’s entries showed a playful ear for metre and rhyme, an often-compelling handling of language, and a hearty display of balladry.

The judges have decided to award a runner-up prize for poetry in the Senior School to Rosanna M for her poem, Autumn, an inventive fantasia on the season incorporating half-rhyme, mimetic typography, and direct speech in the best tradition of E E Cummings. The runner-up prize for poetry in the Sixth Form goes to Lucie T for The monster living in my home, a grimly disturbing portrayal of domestic violence which displayed an impressive command of metre, lexis and tone.

The winner of this year’s Poetry Competition is Beatrice T for Greta on the Argo, an impressively self-assured rumination on gender conflict. Greta on the Argo dextrously uses classical allusion to play with tonal shifts on an issue of contemporary relevance.

Thank you to all who entered. The quality and creative range of this year’s entries is a testament to your inventiveness, passion, and enthusiasm.

We are delighted to share the winning poems below.

Greta on the Argo by Bea T

In our darkest hour, women sink their own ships

beneath Aphrodite’s foam in wars waged against each other –

own goals.       

On Twitter, women have forgotten

How all goddesses were beautiful

and that the Amazons were sassy – closing ranks against Hercules

and sending him away with

one, clear, message:

Belt up.   

When Medusa awoke on a humid morning without the London Look,

There was silence.

Absent, the clamour of snide, spiteful slurs –

women did not snap

or chat – “bad hair!”

In the patient shadows cast by olive branches,

Real women considered the facts in sisterly solidarity,

taking in with pathos,

what Poseidon had done to Medusa

and how he had broken Athena’s heart.

Fingers did not twitch to press ‘send’, but reached first for encyclopaedias

and then pens; pretty cards

to convey ‘Soror’, from the heart.           

When women turn on women

And point Hydra’s venomous arrow tips as towards a mirror,

then Atlas and Hercules will smile at one another

and continue to share the weight of the world between them,

conveniently forgetting that Athena once held it

when they couldn’t do it.

And men will launch hatred at a girl with braids

on an odyssey of love for Gaia,-

in a fleet of one.

The Monster living in my Home by Lucie T

The stench of booze told all that he was home,

An ecstasy of fear rolled down my spine,

The closet to my right was open wide,

Inviting myself in I shut its doors,

I heard my mother shouting from downstairs,

Her voice was sharp yet his was slurred and slow,

I held my breath as father struck her down,

Her screams and cries reduced to voiceless sobs,

I pleaded with my heart to quiet down,

Uneven footsteps made their way upstairs,

Beneath his feet the floorboards creaked and groaned,

The hands to my door was roughly turned,

I gripped my teddy to my chest and wept,

A poor attempt to shield myself from him,

The tears that drenched my cheeks gave me away,

A twisted smirk did form upon his face,

The doors protecting me were flung aside,

His grip enforced itself around my arm,

And yet again the huge man yanked me out,

From here on out I knew I was alone

Autumn by Rosanna M

Ripe old orchard

Autumn leaves

Fall upon the wasps and bees

That fly around the sticky fruit


We grab the precious loot

Sodden roads

Bring dirty feet

Shuffling home

The dog chest deep

In thick black mud


Flooding streams,

“Waste of time,

To keep her clean”.

A sunset sky,

Colours galore!

Pink, blue, gold,

And even more!

This autumn day is

Been and


It slips away



For long.