Valentine’s Day Love Poetry Competition

Love has been scrutinised by philosophers, poets, and hopeless romantics since the dawn of civilisation. For Confucius, it is the perfect virtue—the foundation of any flourishing community. According to Taylor Swift, love is ‘a balcony in the summer air’, ‘crying on the staircase’, and ‘sneaking out to the garden’. Who am I to say if either of them is right? Personally, I am partial to Jane Austen, whose Elizabeth Bennet lamented, ‘I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!’

The Valentine’s Day Love Poetry Competition asks students to compose an original poem about love. There are three Divisions—Year 7-8, Year 9-10, and Year 11-12—to provide our budding poets the opportunity to develop their aptitude with language.

This competition celebrates love in all its forms, and our students have truly embraced this spirit. They have carefully composed poems praising objects of their affection as diverse as friendship, the sky, chemistry—a ‘special bond’ indeed—the ‘little things in life’, the night, love songs—a pastiche of lines rearranged, by a pastiche of Year 11s, into ‘a sonnet for the metaphysical decline of a teenage girl’s heart’—parents, therapy dogs, a favourite pen, self-love, and one delightful quatrain about chicken nuggets. Then there were the poems about heartbreak—there were more than a few of these. Oh, to be young and to feel love’s keen sting.

The winner of each Division receives a medal and a Chartwells voucher. The runners up in each Division will receive Highly Commended certificates at House Assemblies.

The winner of the Year 7-8 Division, for her poem Little Things is Remy Kalinin (8H). The winner of the Year 9-10 Division for her untitled poem about heartbreak, is Sabrina Yong-Gee (9H). The winner of the Year 11-12 Division, for Growing Up Alone, a love letter to myself is Camille Cahill (12G).

Mr Anthony Cupitt
English Teacher

Little Things

Love is something fickle

Some think it’s a god-written article. Some think it’s lustful, trustful, terrifying, or mundane. Or some are so foreign to love all of it just feels the same.

What do I think of love? The little things are what I think of. The way someone’s lips quirk when they try to hide a smile. Or simpler things, like fancy names. Edmund, Maurice, and Carlisle.

Some other things that give me joy are pointy canine teeth, the roaring of an air conditioner, or babbling babies’ speech.

The sweet nothings in the wind, the whispers of below the water. Or the feeling of sand stuck on your nose or the cawing of the dreary crows.

Staples, screws, and shiny things. Industrial trinkets and grimy things. They make my heart feel full and swollen of love for little things.

I love the way that freckles dapple my friends’ and family’s cheeks, or the scent of freshly mowed grass or warm concrete splattered with a lazy stream of water from a hose. I love the wet, soft texture of my dog’s all too curious nose.

I love the smell of fresh books, and hearing robots speak. I love the grass growing on the dunes and the smell of sunscreen on the beach.

And oh, the stars, the glorious stars, the history of our universe played to us from afar, and oh, the stars the way they smile, the way they just grin for a little while.

Love is what you make of it and much more than it seems. I could go on and on and on for my love of little things. So please, I ask, I beg, for you to love them too, look around, admire popcorn popping, stop signs stopping, or the laces on a shoe. Because, if you pass by our little things, the little things will pass by you.

Remy Kalinin (8H)


Untitled poem about heartbreak

Time ticks

ever so slowly

Waiting for you

To tell me

That you miss me

That you’re sorry






I was left

to wonder

This everlasting labyrinth

We call Earth,


To piece together

Our memories

You shattered,

Discarded immediately,

And I

Still. Can’t. Find. The. Part. Where. You. Loved. Me.


‘Why did they leave?’

I ask myself,

Was answered with

Unspeakable, daunting silence

It stings —–

But I plastered

A mask upon my face

To conceal

To suppress

the tears of grief

Streaming irrepressibly

Down my face

With utter devastation

Every night


And at the end

Of all this,

This catastrophe,

This tragedy, if you will,

I still find,

To my surprise,



In love

With you.

Sabrina Yong-Gee (9H)


Growing up Alone, a love letter to myself

 I think I thought when I was little

There’s a point where you can be too old

To be alone

But I’ve realised now that people are always alone

Whether they’re surrounded by a dozen friends

Or none

Everyone’s lonely

And I’m ashamed to say I’m one of them…


I thought you could be too mature

To cry in bathrooms

Or be too grown up to

Care what other people think about you

I think I imagined I’d have lots of friends

And that if I were good enough

I’d have friends forever

But as I’ve gotten older

And I’ve gotten mature

And I’m going to be a grown-up soon

I’ve realised it doesn’t matter how much you care

Most people don’t


I keep waiting for the point in my life

Where all the bad things will stop

And life will know now that I’m grown up

So that means everyone will be nice all the time

And I’ll never fight with anyone again

And each person I love will stay as my friend

But I haven’t changed

I’ve stayed the same

I still get sad cus’ now I know everyone goes

Whether I like it or not, people come and go

And it’s normal to cry

Because now I know the hardest part in life is goodbye


I have a big room in my heart

That’s full of love and kindness

Despite that, it’s been ripped and smashed apart

But that’s why every memory

is precious to me

I keep every birthday and Christmas card

So, I can remember them before they left their scar

In that big room in my heart


I think because of my optimistic outlook

My heart’s a little weaker than others

So, it gets bruised a little easier

I want to be ashamed

to hope for kindness

And to wish for happiness

But even though my heart is often what makes me so alone

I still don’t hate it

I love it because it’s made me who I am


I still have plenty of space on my shelves for new cards

And I still have a lot more growing up to do

Being alone is something I’ll always have to keep getting used to

I think it’s okay to not know everything

And to not know when the growing-up really stops

Maybe it never stops

Maybe I’ll keep getting older forever



There is one thing that I do know


Loneliness never sticks around for long

Just like friends

They balance each other in a never-ending dance

Despite that, I’ll never stop caring

And I’ll never stop loving how much I care

It’s hard to accept sometimes the way that I am

I never said life was easy, I’ll only say that this is true


Just because they’re gone

Doesn’t mean the memories are too…

Camille Cahill (12G)