The memory-poem winner takes us to Scotland

Time to announce the winner of the memory poem challenge where you had to ask a grandparent for a memory and then turn it into a poem. I have one other favourite (see below) and a few that I might post later but they need a bit more work first. Jack wrote the standout poem for me as he found such great details to bring his Gran’s memory alive on the page. I think when you go on the hunt for real things they can make you feel and understand a big thing like war so much more easily. I also liked this poem because my Grandmother came from Scotland. I think the poem works having the short lines — it adds to the mood. Great job Jack (Fendalton Open Air School in Christchurch).

I am going to send you my copy of A Winter’s Day in 1939 by Melinda Szymanik (Scholastic, 2013). I loved this novel. Let me know what you think of it Jack.

Only One to Share

One book to share

A sand tray for writing,

A big hole in the ground

Three classrooms after the bombing.


When the gates opened

She ran home;

Thinking the day was over.


A new school was built

The old one demolished,

She got to stamp the new books for class,

Poverty and struggle

In World War II

Long ago in Scotland.

Jack P, Fendalton Open Air School, Year 5,  Age 8      


I also liked this poem by Sylvia. She wrote a little letter to go with her poem which is lovely. I liked the detail of the bunny ears, and the jiggling like Christmas bells and the way memory is something that comes in bits and pieces. Great job Sylvia!

Hi Paula Green, this is for the Memory Mini Challenge, about your own memories. This is the furthest back memory I can remember. I was really excited when I was looking at the photo album and suddenly remembered, because I’ve been wondering what babies think like for years! I was about two at the time. My Dad used to have this sort of baby backpack that he’d put on his back and he’d carry me on it, when we were going on walks. I can’t remember much, just sort of the feeling.


The sand litters the ground,

I sigh in my head as I’m put in on my Dad’s back.

I’m jiggling up and down

like Christmas bells

as Dad walks.

We are at the beach

and I don’t understand


My baby bonnet is on my head

like a pair of bunny ears.

I look back on this in the future

and think

that human individuals really evolve.

Sylvia, Parnell District School, Year 8, aged 12

2 thoughts on “The memory-poem winner takes us to Scotland

  1. Jill Rawnsley

    Hey Paula,

    I just wanted to say that in a week where there seems to be grim news coming from all corners, seeing evidence of the will to write like this just keeps me going … thank you for sharing your love of poetry with us all, and thank you to your poet correspondents. (I have an image in my head of a pack of pint-sized camouflaged “war correspondents” hiding around corners, collecting info and reporting back on the every day …)

    All best

    Jill Rawnsley I Senior Arts Adviser I Literature
    Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa
    3rd Floor Southern Cross Building, 57-61 High Street, PO Box 1425, Auckland 1140
    T +64 9 373 3066 | DDI +64 9 373 3077| M +64 (0)27 453 4178 | F +64 9 377 6795

    1. Paula Green Post author

      Gosh, thanks Jill. It is great to know that the blog is reaching readers. I love your analogy of pint sized poets hiding round corners. I always get a buzz when someone sends in a poem.


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