Poetry Alive

On the second Thursday in May for the last four years Le Rosey has been honoured to host the Poetry Alive recital competition. With guests drawn from five prestigious international schools – Le Rosey, Aiglon College, ISL, GEMS and Ecolint – students recite a poem of their choice for the competition final in the Black Box Theatre.

As always, the quality and breadth of recitals is staggering. This year’s overall winner gave a hauntingly restrained performance of Matthew Arnold’s ‘Dover Beach’, a 170-year-old poem with a quivering life breathed into it by a class 3 student from Le Rosey. Second place went to a student who gave a recital of a poem published only two years ago and tells of a daring love story set in a nightclub in Brixton. That such talent and enthusiasm is bolstered by our guests says much about the relevance of poetry in today’s world.

Our judge this year, Dr Edward Clarke, an Oxford University lecturer, summed it up perfectly: “Poetry Alive,” he said, “reinvigorates poetry by taking it out of the classroom and into the voices of young people.”