A hopeful new poem adorns the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree

Children perform ‘The Gift’ at this year’s Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lighting up ceremony. Photo: Hayley Madden for The Poetry Society.

I need you to believe, Hope says.
It’s you makes me exist.

I feel bright feathers lifting.
I hear a tiger’s roar.
I’ve taken many forms, Hope says –
changing is what I’m for.

Since 2009, The Poetry Society has run a poetry project called Look North More Often, commissioning a new poem every year to celebrate the friendship between Oslo and London, symbolised by the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree. On 5 December, this year’s Christmas tree poem ‘The Gift’ by Clare Pollard was performed for the first time by three children from St Peter’s Church of England Primary School. Read the poem in full here.

Written on the theme of hope, ‘The Gift’ was inspired by the images and ideas of London primary school children, who received free poetry workshops from Cheryl Moskowitz, Coral Rumble and Clare herself, organised by The Poetry Society in October and November.

The poem has been printed onto a vibrant banner (designed by Marcus Walters) which will now adorn the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree into the New Year. If you are in London during the festive period, why not visit the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square and read the new poem?

The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree was first sent to London in 1947 as a mark of thanks for Britain’s support during the Second World War. Every year the Lord Mayor of Westminster visits Oslo for the traditional tree-felling ceremony.

This year’s Look North More Often project has been supported by Shaftesbury. To find out more about the poem, the project and the event, read the Press Release and visit the Look North More Often project area of the website.

6 December 2019