Shaun Jackson
in the Chard project (South Somerset District Council)


In Spring 1999 the South Somerset District Council devised a project intended to get young people writing poetry. We didn't just want to show children that poetry can be fun - we wanted to show them that learning to write and using language can be fun tool. Poet Shaun Jackson spent the next few months working with children and teachers in all of the primary schools in the Chard area.

Extract from Preface to the Book of Poetry written by Children from Chard and nearby villages.

"The poems in this book are what we feel to be a representative sample of the huge volume of work produced. We are not intending to give out any prizes or pick the best' poem, because everyone who wrote one, whether it was long, short, big or small, deserves a prize. We have reproduced the poems here exactly as the children wrote them, including how they laid them out on the page. We are also presenting them in themed chapters', rather than dividing them up into school sections.

We are indebted to South Somerset District Council Area West Committee and The Poetry Society for financial support, the latter via their national Poetry Places' scheme. We would also like to offer our sincere thanks to pupils and staff at the following schools, without whose participation we could not have made Chard a 'Poetry Place': Avishayes, Redstart, Manor Court, Winsham, Buckland St. Mary, Neroche, Ashill, and Combe St. Nicholas."

Mark Etherington
Arts Development Officer
South Somerset District Council

Stuart Burden, Age 11, Redstart Primary School
The Wolf's Dream Is The Moonlight

The Wolf always howls at the moonlight,

With a bright sight of the old Red Indian,

With his gold white heart and shining teeth,

That are waiting for the moist of the red juicy blood from a deer.

He, the wolf, steps very lightly with his cunning pack and...


Like the speed of light,

Brings the deer down in the gleaming snow.



Simon Male, Age 11, Redstart School
Food Family  

My Nan is a sausage,

Oval and round,

She goes in the cooker,

And comes out brown.


My Aunty is a carrot,

Slim and cone shaped,

She gets boiled up,

For the soup that we hate.


My Grandad is a swede,

He tastes like a weed,

You heat him up,

And have him for tea.


My Uncle Lionel

Is a spinach leaf,

The iron'll do you good

Boil him up for half a day

He'll taste like mashed up wood.


Young Poets Network