Article about the Poetry Live event, courtesy of Frankley Community High School


Thirty students, two teachers, Symphony Hall…

Carol Ann Duffy (Poet Laureate), Simon Armitage, at his best, Grace Nichols, Imtiaz Dharker, GillianClarke and the outstanding performance poet, John Agard.

The result: thirty enthused students who are more prepared than ever for their GCSEs in EnglishLanguage and Literature.

With Symphony Hall packed to the brim with students, Frankley Community High School’s pupilsdefinitely set the tone with their superb attitude, excellent listening skills and exceptional behaviour. Whilst some students from other schools were incessantly talking throughout, Frankley’s Year 10 and11 pupils in attendance gave it their all and ignored the poor behaviour.

During a short break, one student asked for something to be read through.
“What is it, Lewis?”
“Just something I’ve written, miss!”
“Just, miss, just after the chief examiner was talking!”

What I was about to read was completely unexpected and totally blew me away:

Pitch Black Night by Lewis Jay Ward

The darkness approaching again,
but teasing not closing in.
The joy fading away,
no hope, just black and grey.
My future I’m losing sight
the darkness absolute
Pitch black night.

My lips speaking fast,
But no sound to be heard, clasped.
My eyes searching madly,
but ignorance blinds me gladly.
My tears fallingthe rivers in vain but taste so sweet.
My metabolism tells me to fight,
the darkness absolute
Pitch black night.

My hope fading gradually but yet I don’t care weirdly.
My resilience strong not leaving, fighting, as long as I am breathing.
So, yes, uncertain, and, yes, I’m scared, but I’m prepared, failure I have dared.
Regardless of what you may throw in hate, or love, I’ll catch, as though with a baseball glove.
So, that’s my light in the darkness absolute pitch black night.

Ms Fairburn (Assistant Head Teacher) said “What this young lad had done was prove to me that whenstudents are given inspirational stimulus, they show their true potential. Lewis shone that day.”

I wonder if, one day, Lewis will be reading his poems from a collection, in his book, on a stage, from apodium in Symphony Hall at a Poetry Live event which rocks!

Well done to all students who attended the event – each and every one was exceptional.


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