On Monday 24 February, Finton House was visited by the author Steve Tasane to kick off Poetry Week 2022.
Steve delivered some enthusiasm-filled assemblies to excited audiences across the whole school, and then ran poetry workshops with the Upper School throughout the day. During lunchtime, some of our Librarians and School Reporters managed to grab him for an interview…
What makes a good poem?
I like words that dance. It’s important to me that words dance when being spoken aloud. I always remember what a fabulous poet Roald Dahl is with his dancing words, and I also go onto YouTube and listen to Michael Rosen’s No Breathing In Class which really comes to life when it’s being read out loud.
What/who inspired you to become a poet?
To be honest it’s a combination: firstly of those dancing words I mentioned, and I also started writing poetry because I got upset by things and writing poems about them made me feel better about them. You might feel sad or angry but when you write using tools such as alliteration, onomatopoeia etc. it makes you feel happy when you start reading them. At school I was used to poems being read to us whilst we sat up straight at a desk, not the vibrant poetry we know today.
What’s your favourite poem that you’ve written?
In terms of my children’s poetry it has to be the alphabet rap, as that’s the one people enjoy the most. I think other poems have more importance perhaps, but I never get bored of the alphabet rap!
How long did it take you to learn the rap?!
I wrote the alphabet rap in my head over the space of a weekend. I had the starting line “ABCDEFG, my name is Steve I’m an evil MC” and then I’d go on walks and try to come up with more lines. The lines we remember easily are the lines which are the best/cleverest.
What tips do you have for young poets?
When you’re writing a poem, think about how it sounds when you read it aloud. A good poem will sound like speech – if it doesn’t sound like you’re sharing a secret with your best friend then you probably need to try again. Also – don’t try and rhyme TOO much!
To watch a clip from one of Steve’s brilliant assemblies where the audience got involved in his poem, click here!