New poem to be unveiled at illumination of Trafalgar Square Christmas tree
There will be a reading of a seasonal poem commissioned by the Poetry Society when the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is illuminated on 7 December. Since 2009 the Poetry Society has each year commissioned a new children’s poem, inspired by the gift of a Christmas tree from the City of Oslo to the people of London. The spruce is given in thanks for keeping the Norwegian king safe during the second world war.
This year’s poem, written by Isabel Galleymore and inspired by the tree, will be revealed at a special event at Trafalgar Square on Thursday 7 December at 6pm.
As part of its project, the Poetry Society sends poets into schools for workshops in which children craft their own poems inspired by the story of the tree. Cassandra Parkin, Coral Rumble and Cheryl Moskowitz delivered workshops at St Edward’s primary school, St Mary of the Angels primary school and Gateway academy in the borough of Westminster, and Stallingborough Cof E primary school in Immingham, Lincolnshire, where the tree arrives in the UK.
Three pupils from St Mary of the Angels will perform the commissioned poem at the lighting-up ceremony in Trafalgar Square. The tree will remain in Trafalgar Square until 6 January and the poem will be available to read around its base.
Poems previously commissioned for the Poetry Society’s Look North More Often project continue to inspire new audiences. Jackie Kay will read her 2012 poem ‘The Kindness of Trees’ at a carol concert at St Paul’s Cathedral next week; schoolchildren from Essex have been busy setting AF Harrold’s 2017 poem ‘The Friendship Tree’ to music; and Julia Donaldson’s 2020 poem ‘The Christmas Pine’ was published as a book the following year. More details
Photograph shows schoolchildren in Trafalgar Square with Kate Wakeling beside Kate’s 2022 Christmas tree poem ‘and a tree’
PHOTOGRAPH: HAYLEY MADDEN AND KYLE MANNOCK OF MADMAN PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE POETRY SOCIETY