Write A Poem For Our “Determined Days” Anthology

Date: April 2nd 2020

Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio teacher Mark Woodward has come up with a great idea to create a poetry anthology representing all our emotions during this school closure period. Mark writes ….

Dear students, parents, carers and colleagues,

In these trying, uncertain times, we can often find strength and comfort in the power of literature. Literature can be a lovely form of escape – it can transport us to exciting new worlds, introduce us to fascinating new characters and open up challenging, new ways of thinking about the world. Poetry in particular is a beautiful yet powerful way of expressing one’s emotions. Poetry enables us to share and express our feelings about the world we live in – our hopes, fears, dreams and ambitions…

Writing poetry is also a way of releasing feelings and emotions which might be difficult to say out loud. Many of us ‘bottle things up’ – writing poetry is a wonderful way of unfastening that bottle. With this in mind, I would like to invite you all to take part in a Trust-wide poetry project.

For many years, I have written poetry and regularly share my poems with staff and students at the Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio. I would love for others across our family of schools – not just students, but parents, carers, grandparents, staff, governors – to write a poem about their feelings, experiences and observations about this difficult time in our lives. The plan is to create an anthology of these poems which will serve both as a lasting document to record these events but most importantly to unite us all in a project that encourages creativity, passion and hope.

It doesn’t matter if you have never tried to write poetry before – give it a go – you might be surprised at what you can achieve! 

I have given the project the title of ‘Determined Days‘ – this phrase came from my own elderly mum who is in poor health and who plans to contribute her own poem. After watching stories on the news of how the current events can bring out the best in people, my Mum said with her usual positivity, ‘these are determined days we’re living in love’.

I have added one of my recent poems to start things off. It is entitled Mother’s Day and was inspired by not being able to spend Mother’s Day with my Mum recently due to the current situation. I’m sure many of you will be able to identify with it. You can read it below.

If you would like to contribute,  please send your poems to the Trust’s chief executive, Jane Fletcher by Monday May 4th. We look forward to reading them!

Take care and very best wishes to you all,

Mark Woodward

Mother’s Day

Hand-made cards this year,

hand-made gifts,

hand-crafted with love


Hands pressed,

on either side of a window,

a glass barricade,

so near

and yet,

so far,

A mum’s palm,

with life’s ley lines

mapped out,

criss-crossing her skin,

hand-crafted with love,


and before her,

behind the see-through barrier,

always near,

but today

so far,

the fruits of her labour,

sons, daughters, grandchildren,


with love.


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