'The Traveller' by Hannah Collins is Write Out Loud's Poem of the Week

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‘The Traveller’ by Hannah Collins is the new Write Out Loud Poem of the Week. Hannah, who teaches schoolchildren dance and exercise, says: “I like the way there are few boundaries when we write, unlike when we speak.” Her sources for inspiration include world events, "even small news items", She wrote her first poem, about Christmas, when she was 10.  If pushed to name a favourite poet, hers would be the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.  


How long has poetry been an important part of your life, and can you remember why it became so?

I have always loved literature. I began writing short stories, even inventing them verbally for my younger brother when I was a child. When I was 10 years old I wrote my first poem, which was about Christmas. Poetry became important as a way of expressing myself and being creative.


What kind of poetry do you write?  What motivates you?

I write about all subjects. I am sometimes inspired by world events, even small news items. I write in series sometimes, about urban myths, relationships, family, even supernatural occasionally!  I am motivated to express myself, my feelings, ideas, memories. To record an event that may be forgotten otherwise. I believe poems, for example, about grief, can be helpful to others, to read and write.


If you could only have one poet’s work to read which one would you choose?

That is difficult to choose, just one - but I love the work of Carol Ann Duffy.


Do you perform your work and if so, where are your favourite places to perform?

I have been on internet radio a couple of times but usually I do not perform my work. Perhaps in the future ….


If you found yourself cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you pick?

My castaway luxury would probably be a typewriter.




by Hannah Collins



Sweet music drifts in through the open window

As he drifts in

The traveller.

Sits wearily down

Talks of all the drama, all the dreams

All the places he's been.

He's seen the frozen lakes,

The dolphins in the wild,

The bronzed mountains of Nepal

The string of precious pearls from the distant maldives.

Don't listen to him, they whisper,

He's a hypnotiser, a mesmeriser.

I know.

I know him from before.

But then my path was clear

The siren's song was fresh to hear,

The echo, calling, beckoning

With him towards the Stratosphere.


But now I see the open road through the window.

It's a road of sadness they say,

Especially with him to lead the way.

Winding, curving to  who knows where.

The curtain blows idly, so lazily

In the soft Autumn breeze

And the traveller's eyes settle on me.


When all the others have had their fill of his tales

And have crept away,

I return as he knew I would.

His heavily stamped passport open on the floor,

Like an invitation to a never ending dance,

Waltzing with the empty visa of my life.

I want to leave with you, I say,

I want to escape.


His face is more weather beaten than I remember.

I sit before him and I say,

Everything that makes me stay, makes me want to get away,

When daybreak comes, I'll be leaving with you.

The traveller laughs quietly to himself,

He's heard it all before,

All before ...




◄ Young Syrian refugee wins Betjeman poetry prize with lament for her country

Write Out Loud at Stockport art gallery tonight ►


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Frances Macaulay Forde

Fri 8th Jun 2018 03:37

So many clever lines... I loved this.
Beautifully written.
You know I have been a huge fan since I first read your words.
Hannah and many, many congratulations on POTW!
So well-deserved.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Thu 12th Oct 2017 15:00

I don't know how I missed this on the regular blog. Congratulations, Hannah. It's a fine poem.

And thank you for your personal support as well.


Wed 11th Oct 2017 21:06

Congratulations Hanna, a fine poem. A great POTW.

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Hannah Collins

Tue 10th Oct 2017 17:33

Thank you so much to everyone who has commented on my poem The Traveller.
It is an enormous thrill to see my poem as Poem Of The Week.
Thank you everyone for all the encouragement, the comments are wonderful.
Thank you David for choosing my poem.

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Tue 10th Oct 2017 11:37

A wonderful trip into the possible with that tug of war feeling about it. Very enjoyable read with a sense of the dramatic Hannah. My older brother is the personification of the traveller, always restless and drawn back to revisit earlier visits. He is now 83, so this lends an extra punch to the poem for me. I like the comparison with a dance too.
Congratulations .



Tue 10th Oct 2017 03:32

Really good! It makes you think and wonder.

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 9th Oct 2017 16:18

An alternative title could have been "Home and Away", since, to adapt an old phrase "Home and away, it is the
best sort of this style of writing".

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Laura Taylor

Mon 9th Oct 2017 14:46

Great poem, worthy winner. Fab - look forward to much more of your work Hannah.

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Colin Hill

Mon 9th Oct 2017 11:52

well done Hannah on POTW. I have enjoyed reading your poetry since you joined Wol back in August I believe. It has also been a pleasure to see you develop your own individual writing style and themes. I sincerely hope that journey will continue to develop and expand in the future both here on WoL and in other literary areas. All the very best, Colin.

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Wolfgar Miere

Mon 9th Oct 2017 08:17

Congratulations Hannah,

I enjoyed this when I first read it, a worthy POTW.


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Martin Elder

Sun 8th Oct 2017 22:59

This certainly has more than a hint of a romantic feel about it, and who wouldn't want to be following the traveller. It really sounds like fun. great poem Hannah. I was drawn in from the start. Congratulations on POTW.

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kJ Walker

Sun 8th Oct 2017 21:36

Congratulations on POTW. I loved this especially the ending.it left me wondering who was the biggest romancer.
Cheers Kevin

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