Joseph Coelho’s new poem adorns Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree

Preview of the Look North More Often 2018 banner. Design by James Brown.

This year marks ten years of Look North More Often, a collaborative Christmas poetry programme. Since 2009, The Poetry Society has commissioned a new poem by a children’s writer to celebrate the friendship between Oslo and London, as symbolised by the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree. Joseph Coelho wrote this year’s poem, taking inspiration from London schoolchildren.

Four primary schools in Westminster took part in funded workshops with poets Coral Rumble and Cheryl Moskowitz. Over 100 children wrote poems on the theme of light and sent these to Joseph Coelho, who then created ‘Look into My Lights’. This hopeful poem celebrates the Christmas tree among all trees:

The spirit of every tree, everywhere.
Whenever humanity sits and shares.
Wherever there is love and care.
Look into my lights –
see me there.

On Thursday 6 December the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lights were switched on, marking for many the beginning of the festive season. During the ceremony, ‘Look into My Lights’ was performed brilliantly by Mary, Ashwin and Charlotte, three pupils from St Clement Danes Primary School who had worked with Coral Rumble and written poems to help inspire Joseph Coelho.

Pupils from St Clement Danes Primary School with poets Coral Rumble and Joseph Coelho, and the Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen, at the 2018 lighting-up ceremony. Photo credit: Hayley Madden.

Read ‘Look into My Lights’ on our website, and if you are in London during the festive period, why not visit the Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square, where the poem will be displayed on vibrant banners (designed by James Brown) into the New Year?

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.

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.

7 December 2018