Embark on a voyage of learning


ISH: A home away from home

Your own Hughes poem

As part of their Language and Literature Higher Level class, grade 11 students have been studying Ted Hughes’ poetry, including his collection ‘The Birthday Letters’.

Here are two students' written responses to his poetry, looking at how we deal with different sorts of loss, along with the need to write to remember and hold on. 


You write 

You write because it makes yourself feel somebody is listening

To your problems that haunt you like a ghost in the night. 

The night that was wonderful without your problems, 

The night where flowers bloomed and birds sang. 

And suddenly all this was gone, only a thunderstorm was left. 

The growling thunder, galvanised lighting and the glaring rain. 

You make the choices every minute, every day and every year,

The choices that affect yourself in frightful ways. 

Or am I listening to myself, writing to myself, speaking to myself, 

And all of this just to remember the choices I made.

By Renee Schmidt



I will remember you. Even though,

you might not remember yourself. 

You were always happy. 

A Smile that made me remember,

A Heart with only love and laughter. 

But there was always a lingering sadness.

A hand that could never reach far enough,

to retrieve what was bound to be lost eventually. 

A plea for me to hold onto you,

even when you can not hold onto me. 

A darkness creating fog,

Inside parts of your mind 

you hold most dear. 

Turning the light you possessed,

into something dull and forgotten. 

But I remember those stories, 

that you had forgotten you told. 

Every description still 

precise and detailed,

as I had heard them the first time. 

I remember. The way you, 

hummed that tune, Contentedness 

calming your nerves.

Forgetting that you had forgotten

Mondays’ medications still in the bottle.

My younger self might not have noticed, 

you fading or longing to stay close

Still reaching. Hiding it well, 

That hand getting older

Memories seeming shorter.

When they finally slip out of grasp,

Memories left in your testament.

Being passed down a generation

You can do so without an ounce of doubt

I will still remember yourself.

By Mia Krüger