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The Lamp - Embley's Annual Creative Writing Magazine (issue 1)

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the<br />

LAMP<br />

ISSUE 1<br />

2021


“<br />

WRITING, TO<br />

ME, IS SIMPLY<br />

THINKING<br />

THROUGH MY<br />

FINGERS.<br />

”<br />

ISAAC ASIMOV


POETRY & PROSE<br />

Welcome to the first annual Embley<br />

creative writing magazine.<br />

Here we share with you some of the amazing writing created<br />

by Embley pupils across the last academic year; what you<br />

will see in the next few pages is a snapshot of a variety of English<br />

experiences at Embley: writing created in lessons and at home,<br />

often for the sheer pleasure of composing; entries for competitions,<br />

held across the school; writing for co-curricular activities and<br />

things that were created just because the mood was there.<br />

I suppose what they have in common is the right stimulus provided,<br />

followed the time and space to write, Virginia Woolf’s room of one’s<br />

own. <strong>The</strong> quality of what you will see here is a testament to the creativity<br />

of the school, which provides both stimulus and space to write for us all.<br />

We have a variety of incredible poems, as well a lot of extremely<br />

impressive prose. Sometimes, they are based on very strict criteria,<br />

such as a sonnet, or a close modern parody of a particular writer,<br />

but often they have no direct link to anything and perhaps that is<br />

the most impressive of all: the creative instinct, almost independent<br />

even of the mind in which it grows. Romantic poets would have seen<br />

it as a divine message and maybe they were not far from the truth.<br />

I hope you will enjoy what you read here; it has certainly been a<br />

pleasure finding and presenting this amazing work in what was a<br />

trying and yet extremely successful and productive Embley year.<br />

In sharing this, we hope it will also provide inspiration to our pupils<br />

for the year ahead.<br />

Steve Bowyer<br />

Head of English<br />

1


POETRY<br />

ROMANTIC POETRY<br />

Romantic poetry is a unit of study at GCSE. To provide<br />

inspiration, pupils spend lessons exploring the beauty of<br />

Embley’s glade, the Long Walk and Heather Gardens in the Spring.<br />

ONE SUMMER EVENING<br />

A summer evening, the daffodils smiled at the sun.<br />

Swans swam out through the lake. <strong>The</strong> sun shone upon me,<br />

the trees of love that reached above the bright blue sky.<br />

<strong>The</strong> days with rain are romantic and the moon’s silver kiss<br />

A crown of golden daffodils beside the stream,<br />

beneath the trees, dancing in the breeze.<br />

<strong>The</strong> rainbow shone with colours like my heart,<br />

that burst with vibrancy<br />

Under a roof of stars jasmine flowers and<br />

sunshine sunflowers, with climbing grape vines<br />

grew up the walls of a grand garden.<br />

<strong>The</strong> roar of the ocean holds secrets, as love rises with the tides<br />

And sits on the crest of the wave.<br />

Flowers of gold<br />

Who knows what they behold?<br />

<strong>The</strong> rain sprinkles the flowers<br />

Water droplets hang like crystals<br />

So different and blissful.<br />

Here, Charlotte’s piece is particularly evocative, capturing what<br />

the best Romantic poets do: the link between natural objects,<br />

the weather and human emotion.<br />

2


POETRY<br />

Amy’s Romantic poem was also very impressive, borrowing<br />

ideas from Wordsworth’s famous ‘Daffodils’ and Exposure by<br />

Wilfred Owen, which we had studied in class.<br />

A CROWD<br />

OF ROSES<br />

A crowd of roses lay beside the lake,<br />

<strong>The</strong>y basked in the golden sun,<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir red petals curled in the heat,<br />

A slight breeze blew by,<br />

It danced off their crimson skin.<br />

<strong>The</strong> clouds above them curtsied across the sky;<br />

<strong>The</strong>y lay in peaceful bliss,<br />

Watching the lazy days go by<br />

<strong>The</strong> water waited in desperate fear,<br />

A red army stood by,<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir thorny arrows may soon be shot,<br />

And pierce the water’s shallow skin.<br />

A hurricane erupted in the once calm sky,<br />

It dragged the water towards the bank,<br />

But the patient red army still stood by<br />

Watching its prey with mighty hunger.<br />

Suddenly the sky calmed,<br />

Releasing its tight grip.<br />

<strong>The</strong> water drifted home, order was restored;<br />

<strong>The</strong> water lay back in a moment of relief,<br />

<strong>The</strong> clouds huddled in recovery<br />

Travelling across the pale blue sky.<br />

<strong>The</strong> short-lived battled was over,<br />

But the war waited by.<br />

3


Year 7 pupils<br />

composed pieces of<br />

poetry about war as part<br />

of a competition to<br />

celebrate National<br />

Poetry Day. Isla’s poem<br />

describes wartime from<br />

the perspective of a<br />

civilian and was also read<br />

during Embley’s<br />

Remembrance Service.<br />

4


POETRY<br />

THE AIR RAIDS<br />

A WARTIME POEM<br />

<strong>The</strong> screaming has stopped, the city is silent<br />

I can see the light but I don’t want to look.<br />

We wait and we wait until we know it is safe;<br />

<strong>The</strong>n the sound of worried voices begins to arise,<br />

Floods of people start heading outside.<br />

As we step outside it is a horrible sight, <br />

Destroyed buildings and piles of ash <br />

How did they do so much in one night? <br />

Ambulances going this way and that.<br />

<strong>The</strong> screaming has stopped, the city is silent,<br />

I don’t like the air raids, We have to leave the flat;<br />

Mamma says I’m a brave girl. but the shelter is dark and<br />

scary Filled with rats I’m glad the screaming has stopped.<br />

<strong>The</strong> city is finally silent.<br />

5


POETRY<br />

A T R I O<br />

OF SONNETS<br />

As part of our celebration of Shakespeare<br />

Week, we held a Sonnet Competition and<br />

were amazed by the quality of entries from pupils<br />

across the Senior School and Sixth Form who<br />

mastered the intricacies of iambic pentameter,<br />

the rhyming couplet, alternative rhyme and the<br />

volta. Here is a selection of entries.<br />

I liken it to a sweet summer breeze,<br />

Calmly brushing swiftly through the trees.<br />

A feeling warm and soft onto my face,<br />

My feet feel grounded, staying in their place.<br />

Tweets of birds lullaby through the air,<br />

<strong>The</strong> harsh sun beaming with a stare.<br />

To any on goer briskly passing by,<br />

Would take a moment to look into the sky.<br />

Appreciate the beauty and the grace,<br />

Of nature’s doing, whilst sunbeams play on their face.<br />

This feeling of summer, heat basking whilst you stay,<br />

Laying in a chair, not a penny to pay.<br />

Nothing for this feeling, so rare, true and raw,<br />

Nothing at all, not a single outstanding flaw.<br />

By Lexi, using rhythm perfectly while introducing a neat, modern tone.<br />

6


POETRY<br />

<strong>The</strong> rain falls down like a stream through the way,<br />

Painted in a gallery on display,<br />

You promised me thy colour shall not fade,<br />

But the storm stole it and I was betrayed.<br />

Soaking through my unbreakable feeling,<br />

My instinct needs lots of healing,<br />

However, my memories are taking over,<br />

I wish I was lucky like a 4 leafed clover,<br />

I watched you play happily in the fields,<br />

Now your happiness is blocked with shields,<br />

Yet you come to see me soon,<br />

As we stargaze, looking at the moon,<br />

You make everything so much fun,<br />

Now my sorrows are undone.<br />

By Paige, borrowing from Shakespeare’s<br />

‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’, while taking something<br />

of the natural colouring of John Clare, the Romantic sonneteer.<br />

Shall I compare you to a summer’s day?<br />

Nay, you are much brighter and funnier!<br />

Facts and knowledge do spring from you like rays<br />

And commendations flood in from teachers.<br />

Often are you on iPads to be found,<br />

Watching YouTube or chatting to your friends,<br />

Doing art, even playing in the grounds,<br />

Diligent study til the school day ends.<br />

Oh the mouth-watering food baked weekly<br />

Oh the fun had in music and drama<br />

Completing fair English tasks uniquely<br />

Now in school and not home with your llama!<br />

Such talent and kindness is rare to find<br />

What a great group of people is combined!<br />

A tribute by Ms Swann to her tutor group, bringing a<br />

lovely sense of joy in her description of the pupils.<br />

7


POETRY<br />

LOOKING<br />

OUT OF MY<br />

WINDOW<br />

A PANDEMIC POEM<br />

12 8


POETRY<br />

Sometimes the best literature is spontaneous, a celebration<br />

of the moment. Ellen takes a moment in time with this<br />

exquisitely well devised poem about the pandemic.<br />

Looking out of my window<br />

I see, birch trees, birds and bees.<br />

<strong>The</strong> sun is setting, the clouds are<br />

gazing down on us, the neighbour’s<br />

cats are fast asleep indoors.<br />

Pigeons roam the ground, droopy<br />

flowers sway, unhappy.<br />

<strong>The</strong> world doesn’t feel right at<br />

this moment in time. Nothing is <br />

growing, the grass isn’t happy,<br />

even the sun has lost his smile.<br />

And all the time we’ve been<br />

locked indoors, the vegetables<br />

haven’t grown. Nor has the birch<br />

tree that sits by my bedroom<br />

window.<br />

Although we may be grumpy<br />

and tired and in vain,<br />

I’m sure the sun will rise again<br />

(followed by rain). And after<br />

the pandemic is over, we can<br />

gaze down from our windows<br />

and think ‘Aaah - isn’t the world<br />

lovely and peaceful<br />

at this moment in time.’<br />

Looking out from my window<br />

I will see, summer roses and<br />

strawberries and sweet wafts<br />

of fresh air.<br />

And the world - for once -<br />

will feel normal again.<br />

Right up until a hailstorm<br />

brings us back to reality.<br />

9


SHORT STORIES<br />

A 21 ST C E N T U R Y<br />

CHRISTMAS CAROL<br />

Isaac adapts a Dickens’ classic, providing quicky modern<br />

touches and a contemporary edge for his entry into our<br />

Christmas <strong>Writing</strong> Competition.<br />

Oh! But he was a greedy beast.<br />

He made his employees work for far below the minimum wage, snatching<br />

their lives to make more money for himself. He was a driven, aggressive,<br />

hateful, cold, feared old miser! Compared to his brutal work regimen,<br />

the infamous sweatshops with exploited child-workers were attractive<br />

workplaces. Amazon.com and its tales of bullied, exhausted employees<br />

was a positive Eden! Scrooge was stone cold throughout – devoid of<br />

warm emotions. Lonely (by choice) and secretive, the hatefulness inside<br />

him – that he released in his anonymous, troll comments on social media<br />

pages against his competitors – was shown on his face. <strong>The</strong> vulnerable<br />

elderly were his prime victims; they feared his random calls threatening<br />

them with a virus in order to extort their hard-earned pensions.<br />

Dementors were cute and cuddly in comparison. <strong>The</strong> coldness within<br />

him was mirrored on his exterior frostiness: his face was pinched and<br />

wrinkled, his voice was harsh and he walked as if he were held upright by<br />

icicles. Even his thinning hair looked like strands of ice, which continued<br />

onto his eyebrows and chin. An aura of coldness was permanently with<br />

him and, even at the height of Summer, he emanated that coldness.<br />

Christmas – traditionally a time of inner warmth and happiness for<br />

humankind – merely increased his iciness to all.<br />

No one ever engaged him in conversation. Rough sleepers knew better<br />

than to beg from him. Children and adults avoided him in the street.<br />

Even guide dogs were frightened, turning tail and dragging their blind<br />

owners away from his reddened glare. Even the dreaded Coronavirus<br />

was fearful of encountering him. In fact, he was worse than COVID-19,<br />

for no vaccine could ever inject warmth into him.for no vaccine could<br />

ever inject warmth into him.<br />

10


But<br />

Scrooge<br />

didn’t<br />

care!<br />

On Christmas Eve – his least favourite day of the year because it was the<br />

happiest for good caring people – Scrooge gazed down from his narrow,<br />

unheated office at the top of the soaring Scrooge Tower, enjoying the<br />

effects of the biting winds and freezing fog upon the crowds below.<br />

He sneered at the seething masses as he thought of how his latest<br />

campaign to prevent money being thrown away had just succeeded.<br />

He had stopped that ridiculous footballer Rashford’s mission to give<br />

free meals to deprived children. Now, if only he could claw back that<br />

£33 million raised by that old soldier with a walking frame…<br />

His blue lips almost parted in a rictus smile at the eco-friendly lights<br />

battling feebly against the polluted air which was invading every<br />

single area. So much for the Xtinction rebels; the brown, sticky fog was<br />

controlled by Scrooge’s wintry brother, Nature! <strong>The</strong> coldness increased<br />

as below him his workers beavered away anxiously, even though it was<br />

3 o’clock in the afternoon of Christmas Eve.<br />

11


SHORT STORIES<br />

EMILY<br />

WASN’T<br />

LISTENING<br />

Year 8 pupils study dystopian<br />

fiction, the work of George Orwell,<br />

Ray Bradbury and Aldous Huxley,<br />

alongside more contemporary novels<br />

and theory about why people are still<br />

intrigued by the idea of the world<br />

going wrong. In the opening of a<br />

dystopic novel below, the way Hannah<br />

intertwines setting, character detail<br />

and a sense of hopelessness<br />

and oppression is masterful.<br />

12


SHORT STORIES<br />

Emily wasn’t listening. <strong>The</strong> chaotic classroom<br />

was a whirlwind of screams, laughter and<br />

wasted education, that only the rich could<br />

afford. But it wasn’t chewing gum or the<br />

throwing of pencils that was distracting her; it<br />

was the streets. <strong>The</strong>y were completely, utterly<br />

empty. It was a stark contrast to their usually<br />

overcrowded market town, and she hated it.<br />

It made the town seem colder, harsher and<br />

lonelier. Not a single person had dared to leave<br />

their house that morning. <strong>The</strong>y all knew the<br />

Crew were coming.<br />

Outside, the last of the autumn leaves were<br />

cascading down, slowly and miserably, like a<br />

child that finally gave in to leaving a friend’s<br />

house. Ice lined the pavement and, as I<br />

glanced over, it gave me a frosty wink, telling<br />

me that I’d be the next unlucky pedestrian to<br />

slip precariously into its grasp. <strong>The</strong> towering<br />

apartments that provided life saving shelter to<br />

many, were so close to the school, that it felt<br />

like they could all get crushed by this giant in<br />

an instant. <strong>The</strong> cracked glass in the very few<br />

windows, reminded Emily that even money<br />

couldn’t buy the resources they no longer<br />

had. Healthcare and food supplies were at an<br />

all-time low. Since the ghost flu had infected<br />

thousands of citizens living in the Jurius region<br />

of South Paria, the Crew saw this as a solution<br />

to the rebellions. <strong>The</strong>ir logic was this: the more<br />

people die, the smaller an army there would<br />

be to annihilate. Only government officials<br />

had access to the life-sustaining medicine that<br />

everybody craved.<br />

Shocked, Emily jumped up suddenly as the<br />

bell gave a piercing shriek, alerting her that<br />

school was over, and she faced the treacherous<br />

journey home. Wearily, she collected a few,<br />

precious belongings and placed them carefully<br />

into her threadbare bag. As she was fastening<br />

her bag straps together with a safety pin, she<br />

noticed something at the bottom of the bag.<br />

Her heart skipped a beat as she realised what<br />

it was – a tattered old picture, but not just any<br />

picture, oh no, this one was symbolic, but also<br />

worth thousands in the eyes of many. It was<br />

her home. Her real home. A huge colourful<br />

paradise, full of her favourite things, back in the<br />

days when money really could buy happiness.<br />

Back when Earth was a sweet, blissful place to<br />

live. Back, before the disaster that destroyed<br />

the world struck.<br />

Snapping back to reality, she weaved her<br />

way through the bustling corridors. Her brain<br />

seemed to ignore the enormous number of<br />

students heaving their way past; never before<br />

had she felt so alone. She shouldered her way<br />

through the stampede and pushed through the<br />

cold, metal gates, leaving the lifeless building<br />

behind her. She grasped the collar of her<br />

useless, thin coat and pulled it all the way up to<br />

her ears, in a desperate attempt to keep away<br />

the coldness of reality. <strong>The</strong> repeated glances<br />

over each shoulder only made her war against<br />

the climate harder to fight. <strong>The</strong> cameras stared<br />

down from every corner, like seagulls eyeing a<br />

child’s ice cream. <strong>The</strong> desolation in the town<br />

echoed through her soul, a singer wailing into a<br />

microphone. But it wasn’t just the cameras that<br />

were a danger to her; momentarily she allowed<br />

her mind to wander back to the warmth and<br />

comfort of her previous life. Her stomach gave<br />

a jolt. She was falling. Fast.<br />

As she opened her eyes she glanced around.<br />

With no idea as to what had happened, she<br />

leaned up and placed her hands beside her. As<br />

she did, she felt a strange tingling sensation.<br />

<strong>The</strong> lump underneath her arm, ghostly arm<br />

itched.<br />

She was going to die.<br />

She didn’t doubt that.<br />

13


SHORT STORIES<br />

THE GOVERNESS<br />

Year 9 pupils study Gothic writing and to<br />

provide inspiration, they explore the Manor<br />

House as part of the renowned ‘Embley Gothic<br />

Trail’. Eloise has written this beautifully wellconstructed<br />

opening to her short story.<br />

14


Mary was dead; there was no doubt<br />

about it. Her shiny skin was pale and<br />

grey, her lips were a mottled shade of blue. A<br />

river of crimson blood seeped from her chest<br />

and stained the cloth apron that she wore.<br />

She was dead and I did it.<br />

Let me start from the beginning.<br />

Birds sang a sweet melody as the old pony<br />

and trap rattled down the lane. Men worked<br />

in the fields, shouting out to one another and<br />

laughing with the joy of the land. <strong>The</strong> sun<br />

shone high in the sky and it was roasting hot,<br />

but I shivered. I had never been this far out<br />

of town before and I missed the hustle and<br />

bustle of London. We stopped abruptly; the<br />

lane was now silent apart from the hush of<br />

wind in the trees.<br />

“Out!” <strong>The</strong> driver dumped my suitcase on the<br />

floor. “Just down there to the right, you’ll see<br />

the house.”<br />

“But…”<br />

Before I could speak, he clucked to his old<br />

pony and trotted off down the lane, leaving a<br />

cloud of dust behind.<br />

Now I was alone in the vast countryside. Two<br />

vast statues stood on either side of the iron<br />

gates before me, their lion mouths frozen<br />

open in an immense growl. ‘Bickley Manor’,<br />

the sign read; so this was the place. I pushed<br />

open the gates and they screeched with rust<br />

and disuse. My suitcase trundled behind me,<br />

tumbling on every stone. <strong>The</strong> large driveway<br />

curled through the picturesque landscape,<br />

lined with ancient chestnut trees and a small,<br />

abandoned gatekeeper’s hut stood in the<br />

opening to a dense forest. I couldn’t see<br />

the house, but I could tell it would be grand,<br />

because of the size of the estate.<br />

I rounded another corner and there it was,<br />

the Manor House. It was a huge house, but<br />

entirely in proportion to its surroundings.<br />

Large windows glistened in the evening<br />

sun and a trickling water fountain soothed<br />

me: I was excited to start a new life in this<br />

house, my new home. It stood before me,<br />

in a maze of well-kept gardens, with a small<br />

vegetable patch in front of the chapel on<br />

the east side of the building. Colossal trees<br />

towered high above the intricate façade of<br />

the house; double wooden doors, guarded<br />

by substantial pillars opened slowly and a<br />

small, plump face peaked out.<br />

“Mrs Grosvenor?” I enquired.<br />

“Juliet! We have been expecting you – how<br />

wonderful it is to see you!”<br />

She wrapped me in a cosy embrace; although<br />

I had never met this woman before, the<br />

warmth of her welcome made me feel that<br />

this was where I belonged. At this moment,<br />

I thought that life was as perfect as it could<br />

be; the evening sun shone on my neck and<br />

my hair lifted in the gentle breeze. I felt so<br />

welcomed by this stranger, who seemed so<br />

pleased to see me.<br />

A Mrs Grosvenor stepped back, I managed<br />

to get a better look at her. She had curly,<br />

auburn hair, swept back in a neat bun and<br />

she was wearing a blue dress with a frilly<br />

apron. She was a plump woman, with wise<br />

eyes; maybe she was 30, maybe she was 50,<br />

it was difficult to tell.<br />

“I felt as if I didn’t introduce myself properly!<br />

I am Mary Grosvenor, but you can call me<br />

Mary,” she said “and this is Audrey.”<br />

A little girl poked her head out from behind<br />

Mary and waved.<br />

“I am eight years old,” she said proudly.<br />

“It is very nice to meet you, Audrey,” I said.<br />

I thought that this must be the small girl for<br />

whom I would be governess. She seemed<br />

angelic, so why had I felt so nervous before?<br />

Everything seemed ideal - who would know I<br />

could be so wrong?<br />

15


SHORT STORIES<br />

I ’ M S T I L L<br />

ANNA GLASS<br />

In the Summer Term, our GCSE and A Level pupils<br />

were asked to create a story which was submitted as<br />

one of the five strands of evidence which combined<br />

to create a bank of work to be used as exams were<br />

replaced with our assessment procedures.<br />

16


<strong>The</strong> sweet scent of cinnamon swirled<br />

up my nostrils, calming them. It<br />

reminds me of childhood; Christmas<br />

cookies with Grandma and coffee shop<br />

trips, in which 6-year-old me was so<br />

unbelievably fascinated by the whooshes<br />

and the whirs of the gleaming machines.<br />

And yet here, 15 years later and 5000<br />

miles away, as I amble aimlessly through<br />

the market, the smell still makes my mouth<br />

water. I swallow, reminding myself that<br />

reminiscing about the past won’t help me<br />

to start afresh.<br />

I just want to be lost – so I take every<br />

20-foot-wide twist and turn. I practically<br />

dance across the cobblestones, constantly<br />

making sure that the scarf wrapped<br />

to conceal my hair and the oversized,<br />

blacked-out sunglasses don’t slip off, for I<br />

may be allowing myself to have fun, but it<br />

will eve the death of me if I lose my cover.<br />

Perhaps literally.<br />

<strong>The</strong> market that I stumble upon in this<br />

foreign country could be an alternate<br />

universe, for the beauty of the people and<br />

the size of the fruits is beyond anything<br />

I’ve seen on this earth before. Lemons<br />

practically the size of my head sparkle in the<br />

hot Southern sun, sharing a cosy bed with<br />

oranges and pineapples and partnered<br />

with other fruit-like objects that had only<br />

ever appeared in my fantasies. Huge and<br />

multi-coloured and spiky and smooth and<br />

round and long and – oh my God – furry?<br />

I make a mental note to come back to this<br />

stall later, when the bearded man working<br />

there has stopped pummelling a tattooed<br />

fist into the back of a scrawny little boy.<br />

He can be no older than I must’ve been<br />

in my memory that this sight can’t help<br />

but bring back. I watch, feverishly as the<br />

child screams out, helpless, as he reaches<br />

his arm out desperately towards me.<br />

When his pleading eyes lock into mine,<br />

for a minute I feel as though I can see his<br />

soul, deep behind walnut irises there is<br />

a tiny lion cub. It has the appearance of<br />

such mighty potential; he could be proud<br />

and strong, king of the jungle and hero of<br />

the herd. But this lion cub cowers in the<br />

corner. Hi mane untamed, his tail between<br />

his legs, his spirit broken. A lump forms<br />

in my throat and my heart begins to<br />

heave, and I have no choice, but to leave.<br />

I wipe behind my sunglasses, expecting<br />

moisture, but my hand comes away dry .<br />

<strong>The</strong> realisation angers me: I’ve grown to<br />

be so hard-hearted that even witnessing<br />

the punishment of a child won’t reconcile<br />

with me. I adjust my scarf, then scurry<br />

away – like a meek little mouse when<br />

faced by a predator.<br />

I can’t help wondering as I wander along,<br />

with each step I take, I think of each swing<br />

the man took to the boy’s back. With<br />

each breath I draw, I hear the stallkeeper’s<br />

shouts breaking the softly buzzing air<br />

again, like the harsh crack of a whip and<br />

try to imagine what he was saying in<br />

English. Inhale.<br />

“You mustn’t steal!” Exhale.<br />

“Street rate!” Inhale.<br />

“You’re a disappointment to me and your<br />

mother.” (Wait...what?) Exhale.<br />

“I don’t care if she’s dead, she still hates<br />

you.” Suddenly, I’m alert.<br />

“Stop crying, you stupid brat!”<br />

I flinch, confused and afraid.<br />

“Jesus, Anna, I told you to stop your<br />

stupid crying!”<br />

<strong>The</strong> churn in my stomach and fazing<br />

over of my eyes tells me it’s happening<br />

again, but this time, I can’t control it. <strong>The</strong><br />

memories come as a flood; as if to wash<br />

away all the hard work, as if none of it<br />

matters, as long as I’m still Anna Glass.<br />

21 17


BOOK REVIEW<br />

TONI MORRISON’S<br />

THE BLUEST EYE<br />

As part of our celebrations of World Book Day, to celebrate<br />

this international festival, we held a Book Review Competition.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re were many entries, from all ages, some highly entertaining<br />

video recordings, as well as the more conventional review.<br />

Charlotte, a Sixth Form English Literature student impressed<br />

the judges with her critique of this book.<br />

Toni Morrison has such a way with words<br />

that she has the ability to completely<br />

immerse the reader. <strong>The</strong>re is a chilling<br />

beauty in the way she constructs her novels.<br />

However, ‘<strong>The</strong> Bluest Eye’ is extremely<br />

poignant, as it enlightens the reader of the<br />

cruel realities of a young girl called Pecola’s<br />

life. Her character is shrouded in mystery,<br />

and you never fully understand how she<br />

feels.<br />

‘It was their contempt for their own blackness<br />

that gave the first insult its teeth.’ Morrison<br />

depicts the warped image of beauty and<br />

communicates how it has affected many<br />

young black girls.<br />

This novel opened my eyes to <strong>issue</strong>s that<br />

have never personally influenced me, but<br />

Morrison’s novel left me feeling melancholy<br />

and in awe of the way she communicated<br />

her message.<br />

<strong>The</strong> abuse she faces from classmates and her<br />

family, forces her to escape into a fantasy;<br />

she dreams of having blue eyes.<br />

<strong>The</strong> novel touches on some very harrowing<br />

themes, including abuse and the internalised<br />

white beauty standards which damage the<br />

lives of many black girls and women.<br />

Morrison is an incredible author and all of her<br />

novels that I have read have had a profound<br />

impact on me. <strong>The</strong>y can be unsettling and<br />

uncomfortable, but they are thoroughly<br />

enigmatic and immersive.<br />

18


NEWSPAPER ARTICLES<br />

FULFILLING A CHILDHOOD DREAM<br />

Our GCSE academic scholars were asked to write a piece in the<br />

style of a newspaper article about what made them unique. Niamh<br />

explores the world of competitive ski racing while Chloe describes<br />

her childhood dream of becoming an international show jumper.<br />

A COMPETITIVE SKIER<br />

Ski racing is not a sport that many people really know much about.<br />

Many people see it as ‘just going down the hill fast’.<br />

In fact, there is a whole lifestyle that can be experienced from a young<br />

age, including a tremendous amount of dedication and hard work.<br />

For World Cup athletes, it is all about preparation, as they will push their<br />

bodies to the limits, as they want to win. With only the top 10 races<br />

scoring points and money, it really is a gruelling sport.<br />

Race days come around often; some younger athletes can cover up to<br />

three continents in a few weeks, to try and lower their points as much as<br />

possible.<br />

As well as the skiing training, physical fitness and even mental fitness<br />

really separates those who win and those who don’t. With top athletes<br />

having extreme fitness programmes, as well as having the need to<br />

balance their work and social life, it can definitely be tough.<br />

On race days, it really shows who truly wants it, as many athletes can<br />

psych themselves out before the race even starts, due to nerves and<br />

stress. Many will also go on to crash out or have equipment malfunctions,<br />

causing injuries that sometimes even end their careers as ski racers.<br />

For younger athletes, they still have the same kind of programmes as<br />

World Cup athletes, just with less pressure and with the races having less<br />

significance, although the potential that they want to have, causes them<br />

to treat the races as if they were the World Cup. Each individual has their<br />

own race day routines, preparing themselves to win.<br />

Ski racing is one of those sports that people are deceived by. It isn’t<br />

just going as fast as you can, it is about the commitment and training,<br />

showing to people that, those you want to win the most, often do.<br />

19


NEWSPAPER ARTICLES<br />

INTERNATIONAL<br />

SHOW JUMPER<br />

When I was three, I wanted to be an<br />

international show jumper. Now I am<br />

14, I am almost there!<br />

Show jumping as a sport involves a lot of<br />

travelling. Almost every weekend we are<br />

competing nationally around the country,<br />

at various different venues. No show is the<br />

same; you will never jump the same course<br />

twice. This is what I like about it, as you<br />

face new challenges all the time, testing<br />

yourself and your horse’s abilities and<br />

seeing if the long hours of training have<br />

paid off.<br />

Like any other sport, you have<br />

ups and downs all the time.<br />

One minute you are winning a<br />

big championship and the next day,<br />

you could have a fence down, or<br />

even fall off. Once I almost broke my<br />

jaw and neck – they know my name<br />

in A&E, I go there so often!<br />

Horses aren’t machines and no matter what<br />

you do, if your horse isn’t performing to its<br />

best ability on that day for whatever reason,<br />

whether they are not feeling well, unhappy<br />

or spooky, you can only do your best.<br />

You are bound to have a bad day at some<br />

point, even if it’s not your fault. I believe<br />

that show jumping teaches you to be more<br />

mature from a younger age.<br />

I started competing when I was 10 years<br />

old and I had good days, along with some<br />

bad days. <strong>The</strong> discipline teaches you how<br />

to deal with the good and the bad and<br />

to be a good sport. You learn to be more<br />

understanding and also to accept your<br />

mistakes, but not dwell on them and work<br />

to make yourself better.<br />

Training is the key to success in show<br />

jumping. I currently have two horses.<br />

Both of these horses have to be kept fit<br />

and on top form, ready to compete. This<br />

means training throughout the week,<br />

in preparation for competitions at the<br />

weekends.<br />

I personally love training my younger<br />

horse, Grace, because when she starts to<br />

go well and I get good results, it gives me<br />

the best feeling. I also love training on my<br />

older horse, Fully, because she helps me,<br />

when I get things wrong and helps correct<br />

them.<br />

Show jumping is a very difficult<br />

sport in many ways. It is physically<br />

exhausting, although a lot of<br />

people believe that as horse<br />

riders, we ‘just sit there’. We do<br />

have a much larger role than<br />

that. We have to hold everything<br />

together and maintain a balanced rhythm,<br />

to allow the horse lift their knees to jump<br />

and a lot more.<br />

Show jumping is also very tiring. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

are early mornings and late nights, when<br />

competing at the weekends. One weekend,<br />

I woke up at 4am, to get to the yard at<br />

4:30am, to leave in the lorry with the horses<br />

at 5am. My class started at 8am and my last<br />

class ended at 4:30pm and I got home at<br />

7:30pm.<br />

I love this sport, partly because it’s not<br />

easy. It really shows when you have put in<br />

the hard work and it feels amazing when<br />

it does go right. And that makes it all feel<br />

worthwhile.<br />

20


<strong>The</strong> following poem is the inspiration for the<br />

title of our <strong>Creative</strong> <strong>Writing</strong> publication.<br />

SANTA FILOMENA<br />

Whene’er a noble deed is wrought<br />

Whene’er is spoken a noble thought<br />

Our hearts, in glad surprise,<br />

To higher levels rise.<br />

<strong>The</strong> tidal wave of deeper souls<br />

Into our inmost being rolls,<br />

And lifts us unawares<br />

Out of all meaner cares.<br />

Honor to those whose words or deeds<br />

Thus help us in our daily needs,<br />

And by their overflow<br />

Raise us from what is low!<br />

Thus thought I, as by night I read<br />

Of all the great army of the dead,<br />

<strong>The</strong> trenches cold and damp,<br />

<strong>The</strong> starved and frozen camp, —<br />

<strong>The</strong> wounded from the battle-plain<br />

In dreary hospitals of pain,<br />

<strong>The</strong> cheerless corridors,<br />

<strong>The</strong> cold and stony floors.<br />

Lo! in that house of misery<br />

A lady with a lamp I see<br />

Pass through the glimmering of gloom<br />

And flit from room to room.<br />

And slow, as in a dream of bliss,<br />

<strong>The</strong> speechless sufferer turns to kiss<br />

Her shadow, as it falls<br />

Upon the darkening walls.<br />

As if a door in heaven should be<br />

Opened, and then closed suddenly,<br />

<strong>The</strong> vision came and went,<br />

<strong>The</strong> light shone and was spent.<br />

On England’s annals, through the long<br />

Hereafter of her speech and song,<br />

That light its rays shall cast<br />

From portals of the past.<br />

A lady with a lamp shall stand<br />

In the great history of the land,<br />

A noble type of good,<br />

Heroic womanhood.<br />

Nor even shall be wanting here<br />

<strong>The</strong> palm, the lily, and the spear,<br />

<strong>The</strong> symbols that of yore<br />

Saint Filomena bore.<br />

A Poem By<br />

Henry Wadsworth<br />

Longfellow


Embley Park, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 6ZE<br />

Main switchboard: +44 (0) 1794 512206<br />

Email: info@embley.org.uk<br />

www.embley.org.uk

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