To celebrate Valentine's Day 2021, we challenged our students and staff to a poetry competition on the theme of 'love' - whether romantic or platonic, cynical or sincere, or a little bit of each.
We're very excited to announce our two student and staff winners, who each take home a £50 Amazon voucher to treat themselves after a challenging year for both our students and staff.
Taking first place for the student prize is Meghan Sharma-Bradley, whose poem 'A Grandiose Message for the Hopeless Romantic' manages to convey the giddiness of a relationship's honeymoon period and encourage us to remain receptive to the love that's "all around us".
Dawn Francis-Jones, our staff prize winner, takes a more universal approach to love for her moving poem, 'In a World of Sadness and Despair', highlighting why it's so vital to care for and show love to all those in our lives, especially at a time when connecting with loved ones can be a challenge.
You can read Meghan and Dawn's poems below.
We'd like to thank everybody who entered the competition. There were so many fantastic poems this year that we also decided to award some small prizes to our runners up, who each receive a £10 voucher. Congratulations!
A Grandiose Message for the Hopeless Romantic
By Meghan Sharma-Bradley (Student Winner)
Love - that’s quite a funny thing, isn’t it?
Humans - wired to seek out admiration for who’s fit.
Men, women, theys and thems,
Whose eyes sparkle bright like the finest gems.
You find that spark within somebody,
And you say to yourself “Cor blimey, they’re lovely!”
And you look at yourself “How did I get here?”
That warm fuzzy feeling, grinning ear to ear.
I wish I could be back there again, chilling with her.
Screaming at the top of our lungs Daydream Believer.
Sending each other cute little memes.
Feeling like a hot air balloon in my dreams.
I’d buy some cookies, maybe even an extravagant orchid.
Maybe even go to an auction and pay the highest bid.
Darling, I adore all your little idiosyncrasies.
Alas, I'm a classical romantic, swimming in virtual seas.
Ifyou’re reading this now, please know that you're groovy,
Whether we’re talking about video games or some 90s rom-com movie.
The gorgeous, beautiful artist to my classic, charming gentleman,
Pumping with adrenaline, can’t wait ‘til we get to meet again.
So whoever is nearest, whoever is dear,
Show them some affection, tell them you’re here.
You honey-tongued charmer, looking oh-so-debonair,
This rambunctious feeling that love is in the air.
Now I’m no Shakespeare, Dickens or Wilde,
I’m just here to think about love, fanatic or mild.
When you get a chance, listen to your heartbeat, listen to the sound,
Because “I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually, is all around.
In a World of Sadness and Despair
by Dawn Francis-Jones (Staff Winner)
In a world of sadness and despair
Life shows us now how we must care
To all those precious in our hearts
Steadfast, hold strong, no more departs
Valentine not to one single soul
To all we love who make us whole
Connected by true love we feel
No false words, we show what’s real
A valentine we are to all
No need to have one single call
Because the heart beats strong and fast
Maintains the beat of love to last
Keep those close whose love you share
Heart plump drops from soul we bare
Pure and true mean what you say
Every minute of every day
There is no second chance to find
So where you can please be kind
You cannot turn the hands of time
Re-ring that bell to hear that chime
The love you have you give with pride
Returned or not, rebuked, denied
It matters not how it is received
It matters more it is believed
Those I love know me well
They’re the ones I always tell
I love you loads no words can say
Without your love I have no day
No day to see, to live, have fun
No spirit, laughter, free to run
But I am lucky that you are there
My heart is full and that I share