The Poetry Society has commissioned a wonderful new poem,‘The Christmas Pine’, by the former children’s laureate and author of The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson, as part of the long-running Look North More Often programme. The poem will be unveiled as part of the lighting-up ceremony of the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree. The poem is also printed on a banner, with delightful artwork by Marcus Walters, that encircles the base of the tree for the festive period.
This year’s poem, ‘The Christmas Pine’, follows the journey of the tree from a seed in the forests around Oslo, through its journey to Trafalgar Square. Julia Donaldson’s poem will be premiered at the virtual lighting-up ceremony of the tree, which will start at 6pm GMT on Thursday 3 December 2020 and is open to all. Watch the event live here.
Since 2009, The Poetry Society has created a new poem every year to celebrate the friendship between Oslo and London, symbolised by the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree.
As part of this unique programme, The Poetry Society facilitated a day of free writing and performance workshops to Year 6 pupils at local Westminster primary school St Mary of the Angels. Poet Coral Rumble visited in person to encourage children to write their own poems inspired by ‘The Christmas Pine’. She helped to select three pupils (Reinfrancis Bondoc, Fabio Cucinotta and Poppy-Beau Pawsey) to debut the poem at the tree’s virtual lighting up ceremony and mark the start of the festive season in the capital.
The Poetry Society has produced a new teaching resource inspired by Julia Donaldson’s ‘The Christmas Pine’, to help primary school teachers bring the gift of poetry to their children this year. The resource asks children to find out more about their favourite plant and write a dramatic monologue using their discoveries.
You can now visit the Traflagar Square Christmas Tree and read the poem ‘The Christmas Pine’ on the banner illustrated by Marcus Walters until 6 January 2021.
30 November 2020, updated 3 December