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National Poetry Day Performance for Budding Malvern St James Poet

This article was published by Malvern St James Girls' School on Thu 3rd November 2016

Flora Barber (Year 13) took to the airwaves last to read an extract from a poem live on BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester in celebration of National Poetry Day. BBC Local Radio commissioned a performance poet to write a poem for each local radio station, from the viewpoint of a local landmark or tradition.

Worcestershire’s poet laureate, Heather Wastie, wrote the following poem, which is inspired by local orchards:

Squeeze me
Close your eyes,
take me in your hand
and squeeze me.

Am I
the sweet smooth-skinned Sandlin Duchess,
the blushing May Queen,
the mysterious Scotch Bridget, worth keeping,
or Gwendolen, appealing, with a hint of wine?

Am I Dick's Favourite?
Am I your favourite?
The apple of your eye?

Feel how small I am,
small but robust,
quality not quantity;
my breeding dictates my destiny,
bittersweet.

Lizzy, Vicky, Gilly,
Amanda, Jane ...
when I have matured,
when I have spent time
with Hilda, Lucy, Dora, Jessie,
Hereford, Worcester, Wilfred, Raven,
Darby, Joan ...

you will have forgotten my name
but you will thank me
and bless me, dancing and singing,
as you drink from the Wassail cup.

Flora came to the attention of the radio station after she won her age category in their Poetry Writing Competition this spring with a poem called ‘Home’ inspired by her experiences as an asthma sufferer:

http://malvernstjamesblog.tumblr.com/tagged/creative-writing

She was interviewed live on air by Alice Porter, a previous Head Girl of Malvern St James. When asked what she loved so much about poetry, Flora replied, “For me, it’s about people’s stories and the way that someone can read your words and bring this incredible interpretation. They can see things in your words almost like a reflection of their own story.”