Perched on the Edge of the World
Just seven words. Perched on the edge of the world. But so resonant of that time just before a young living creature – a child, an animal, a bird – launches itself into the world, discards the safety net of home and parents, and becomes an independent being. These seven words were written by Daisy Godbold, a Year 7 pupil at the Stephen Perse Foundation school in Cambridge. She is this year’s winner of the Megan Young Poetry Prize.
Daisy was writing about a blue tit but this particular phrase would just as aptly describe her, a girl with her future ahead of her. Poised to become a writer? Who knows?
Megan Young Poetry Prize
I helped to found the Megan Young Poetry Prize a few years ago in memory of my daughter who had been a pupil at the Stephen Perse Foundation (then known as the Perse Girls’ School). Megan died of cancer aged 32. She became an equine veterinary surgeon but throughout her life, ever since she was a small child, she had written poetry. Some of that poetry has been published in a book which tells the story of her life, Wordsmith: the Gift of a Soul.
This is Daisy’s poem.
Who am I?
In the dappled light of a green crowd,
Where fellow friends sing melodies of wonder to welcome the dawning day,
I am safe in the shelter of an ancient, everlasting family.
Swimming in the high ocean blue,
I reach to feel the wind swirl around my extended wings and whip my small feathery face.
As the sun’s golden fingers stretch to stroke the distant rolling hills,
I dance happily and gracefully in a ballroom of swaying branches.
As free as the cotton wool that tickles the tips of my outstretched wings,
I dive and weave playfully with my friendly forest companions.
In my past, I remember perching on the edge of the future,
Ready to become what I was destined to be,
Ready to fly into the unknown world ahead of me.
Afraid of the sly ginger predator below,
With his narrow, glaring portals and snarling smile,
And the swift, long taloned Sparrow Hawk above
With his polished, pointy beak, sharp, poised claws and ever-seeing eyes.
Wishing to glide to the other side of the world,
Over the ongoing ocean of mystery and beyond.
Hoping to see my newly hatched balls of fluff grow strong,
Take the same leap of faith I did,
And be as beautifully blue as I am.
I am a blue tit.