This title from Candlestick Press is something of a departure: all the poems were chosen by pupils at Headington School and the selection includes contributions written by the students themselves and by their English teacher, Liz Soar.
The pupils were diligent editors and their choices reflect the multicultural world in which they are growing up.
There’s a poem in three languages about a joyful reunion with a grandparent arriving from overseas and another in which a Muslim grandmother raises eyebrows in a posh department store by washing her feet in the sink in the ladies’ room.
But the abiding spirit of the selection is the sense of safety and comfort we feel in the company of a beloved grandparent.
Joan Johnston’s tiny poem ‘Safe’ captures the feelings of a child tucked up in bed while a grandmother busies herself downstairs in the kitchen. Or as Andrew Waterhouse says so touchingly, it’s simply about:
“feeling his heat, knowing
the slow pulse of his good heart.”
from ‘Climbing my Grandfather’ by Andrew Waterhouse
Poems by Tiffany Atkinson, John Burnside, Katie Cleverley, Vicki Feaver, Joan Johnston, Katerina de Jong / Anastasia Matveeva / Minnah Rashid, Mohja Kahf, Derek Mahon, Liz Soar and Andrew Waterhouse.
Illustration by Kathy Morgan.