Poetry Alive!

It was difficult for those present not to be amazed and moved by the ADISR poetry reading competition in the Black Box in May. Contestants from Ecolint, The International School of Lausanne, Aiglon and Le Rosey recited and performed dozens of poems in the electric atmosphere created by a darkened room, spotlights, microphones, an intensely attentive audience, and the presence of judge, Dr Edward Clarke from Oxford University. Works by Sylvia Plath, William Blake, Robert Frost, R S Thomas, Seamus Heaney and many more were brought dramatically to life by students who had memorized the poems completely and who were able to inhabit the voice and mind of their chosen poets and in the process touch profound levels of emotion. Three of the four prizes went to Rosey students – but that was incidental. “Wow!” as Dr Clarke said in his closing speech after dinner with all the contestants and teachers: the event helped many rediscover poems they had known for years  – and reminded some hardened English teachers of what had originally led them to literature. Particular credit must go to Rosey English teacher Steven Brewer who had the idea in the first place, brought it to fruition and then compered the whole with wit, insight and humour. 

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