Monday, 18 June 2018

Y4 Hide & Seek - by Vernon Scannell

We have been delighted with the impact of this year's Poetry Festival. Once all of the performances were complete, the children responded very positively about the impact of the workshops, the finale in front of the schools and parents, working collaboratively between Broadford and Mead and how it had made them feel.

93% strongly agreed that they were now more confident about speaking in public
100% agreed that they would be more likely to want to read and explore poetry themselves
87% strongly agreed that it had helped to further improve links across our Federation
100% felt that the poetry workshops had developed their 'reciprocity' muscle 

The final poem that we have to publish is by Vernon Scannell. ‘Hide and Seek’ describes a childhood game, tracking the stages of excitement, discomfort and loneliness that the child experiences. But childhood games imitate adult behaviour and reflect the complexity of adult emotions. It can therefore be read as an extended metaphor for the aspirations of maturity, the urge to grasp at opportunities, but the discomfort, anxieties and even betrayal that this involves. It is a comment on life’s challenges and disappointments.


Why not have a go at reading and performing the poem yourself?

Call out. Call loud: ‘I’m ready! Come and find me!’
The sacks in the toolshed smell like the seaside.
They’ll never find you in this salty dark,
But be careful that your feet aren’t sticking out.
Wiser not to risk another shout.

The floor is cold. They’ll probably be searching
The bushes near the swing. Whatever happens
You mustn’t sneeze when they come prowling in.
And here they are, whispering at the door;
You’ve never heard them sound so hushed before.

Don’t breathe. Don’t move. Stay dumb. Hide in your blindness.
They’re moving closer, someone stumbles, mutters;
Their words and laughter scuffle, and they’re gone.
But don’t come out just yet; they’ll try the lane
And then the greenhouse and back here again.
They must be thinking that you’re very clever,
Getting more puzzled as they search all over.

It seems a long time since they went away.
Your legs are stiff, the cold bites through your coat;
The dark damp smell of sand moves in your throat.
It’s time to let them know that you’re the winner.
Push off the sacks. Uncurl and stretch. That’s better!
Out of the shed and call to them: ‘I’ve won!

Here I am! Come and own up I’ve caught you!’
The darkening garden watches. Nothing stirs.
The bushes hold their breath; the sun is gone.
Yes, here you are. But where are they who sought you?