Author publishes student’s war poems online

Following Lydia Syson’s visit to the school earlier this term, to talk to Year 10 about her novel World Between Us and British involvement in the Spanish Civil War, the author has now published a number of the students’ poems on her website.

A major topic of the discussions was the difficulty many of the students had in understanding the impact of the very first aerial bombardments. Prefacing the poems Ms Syson says: “It’s hard for young people in the UK….now that what was once called ‘total warfare’ has become commonplace, to imagine what it was like in the 1930s when, during the Spanish Civil War, the first cities in Europe were attacked from the air.”

The poems were written at the end of a series of small group workshops. These explored the response of poets and artists, including Picasso, to the bombardment of Guernica in 1937. After watching and listening to contemporary newsreel footage and press reports, the students produced their own, very immediate poetic responses.  The poems below were all written in the last 10 minutes of a busy hour, packed with discussion, drama and group recitation and are therefore all the more impressive.

The featured Y10 poets are: Anya Travassos, Ester Schomberg, Sylvie Locke, Martha Edwards, Niah Hay-Henry, Sally Prifti, Safiyah Borde-Kuofie and Elena Hornby.