The performance poet, Andy Craven Griffiths, visited Allerton Grange School on Monday 9 October to deliver poetry workshops to a selection of students from Year 7 and Year 8.
The students had a wonderful time, firstly listening to Andy perform some of his own poems, followed by the chance to create their own poetry.
Andy informed the students that he had found writing poetry a great way to express himself when he had been at school. He performed a poem about his own teachers portraying how he had realised they didn’t know everything! He also performed a very moving poem about his Grandad who had Alzheimer’s disease which portrayed, very succinctly, how devastating it can be to lose the ability to express yourself and communicate. He very cleverly created a poem, included below, using the students’ names, which he had written moments before meeting them.
Miss Fox, teacher of English, said, “I thought it was really admirable that he’d written a poem for the students with their names in it – it was a lovely way of engaging them.”
Andy used the idea of rhyming couplets to create a poem. He began this by asking the students to complete the phrases “If love was . . .” and then “I would be . . .”, and encouraged them to think of details about themselves; things they enjoyed or knew about. At the end the students performed their poems, either in pairs or groups, with the microphone going down the line. The performances were fantastic and it was wonderful to see so much creativity.
Andy said, “I was very impressed with the standard of writing throughout the day. There were plenty of talented young people who could one day be writing professionally. And the more they read and practice, the quicker they’ll improve.”
I’ve got words for Allerton Grange School
Got words of admiration for teachers, not sure I could be one,
you need way too much energy to deal with the likes of Harris Keon.
Words to ask questions what, who, what, where, when?
And the best why? Because. Why? Goes and asks Emre Sen.
Words that change like autumn leaves, and warm us like the summer,
Cold words like frosty splinters or a glare from Ahmed Gumma.
Words from other worlds, for astronauts on the way to Saturn
Zooming past the moon, then Mars, the spaceship steered by Ifat Khatun.
Some words can be an obstacle so it seems you can’t get over,
But practice makes perfect. You’ll soon be a poet like Daniela Violova
Words about the BFG, or The Twits and how they smell,
The words stay ringing in my head, as loud as Katie Bell.
Words like confidence can make you feel 10 feet tall.
You’ll be sure to score, like Rowan when he steps up to the Ball.
Words for when you’re on bakeoff and the sugar rush is all too much,
And you rush around scoffing every cake, that Emma Cutts.
Words in other languages, my love, in Welsh is Cariad.
I say bonjour and salaam alaykum to Sana Ashtarirad
Words of frustration when it’s cold outside and your car’s not starting,
Then disasterous words when you arrive and see Elena Parkin.
Words for Mediterranean meats, strange things like Salami,
I prefer tomato pasta like Taha Elforjani
Words for when you’re on PS4, on Destiny or another game,
You can play with words and make rhymes with Saafia Hussain.
I don’t use swear words, I don’t want to be rude,
If you’re not polite it might put Laiba in a bad Mehmood.
Words explain incredible things, like all your atoms come from a star,
And we’re all solar powered people, just ask Zenia Mujawar.
Words like flexible, for the gymnast who can touch his toes,
And words that bloom for the gardener admiring Kervon’s Rose.
Words can grow into books from seeds of ideas, if you let them,
You just have to water them, and Shifa doesn’t need to Begum.
Words are used to write your favourite TV programmes, every story,
Starts from words, including horror movies that Zainab finds quite Ghori.
I’ve got kind words cause no one likes to be mean,
And generous words can make you new friends, like Haleema Jabeen.
So many words from all the books I’ve read I can hardly keep tally,
They decorate your mind with ideas, till it sparks like Haddy Krubally.
Got all of these words, spoken out hopefully,
String them all together, now we’ve got poetry.
By Andy Craven Griffiths