Trewithen Trees Inspire Poetry

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27 April — 27 May 2009

Thanks to teachers Tony Bowyer and Grace Trevethan who organized the event, years three and four from the school were taking part in the National Trust's Great Trees of Cornwall Project in conjunction with The Poetry Society's centenary.

Thanks to teachers Tony Bowyer and Grace Trevethan who organized the event, years three and four from the school were taking part in the National Trust's Great Trees of Cornwall Project in conjunction with The Poetry Society's centenary. The best examples of their work could even be included in a celebratory poetry reading being planned by the Poetry Society for later in the year.

A selection of the poems will also be made into signs and placed around Trewithen Garden to create a poetry trail, which staff hope will not only entertain visitors but also might inspire them to write a poem themselves.

As well as the trees, both flowering and not, inspiration and guidance was provided by Maggie Livingston and Gemma Dyson of BuzzWords, from Newquay, who lead poetry sessions throughout the county.

Maggie, a Trewithen regular, said she had chosen the garden to inspire the school children as she feels it is a special place.

"I love this garden," said Maggie. "It's very different to most of the others. It's an enchanted garden and totally unspoiled. By encouraging the children to really look at the trees, even feel them or sit on them if they want, I'm hoping it will spark their imaginations."

Maggie and Gemma began by gathering the children on the great lawn in the sunshine to play some word and visualisation games before giving them the freedom of the garden to complete their task of creating Haiku - a Japanese style of poetry writing which uses 17 syllables in three metrical phrases of 5, 7 and 5 syllables.

"This is awesome," said Leon, 8. "Being out of the classroom is so much better. I don't normally like literacy much but this is different." "It's all so colourful it's easy to be inspired!" said his classmate, Talis, 9. Working with their friend, Jack, 9, the three had made their Haiku into a rap.

Sophie, Arlana and Lucy, all 9, were so impressed with their surroundings and inspired partly by the fact they were out of school they wrote a whole series of Haiku.

Sophie said: "We're allowed to sit on the trees and touch them rather than just look at them and that has really given us lots of ideas for descriptive words."

Trewithen's owner, Michael Galsworthy, said: "It's been a pleasure to have the children here. It's important for the estate to be a part of the community and if the garden has been an inspiration we're delighted to have been a part of the project."