Major national accolade for KEHS star poet
A talented young poet from King Edward VI High School for Girls has received a major national accolade for a powerful poem about online temptation. 15-year-old Pratiksha Saha’s poem “The Path to Rebellion” was selected as one of the 100 winning entries from over 12,000 submissions in the world-wide Foyle’s poetry competition. Pratiksha herself has been made a member of the Young Poets society and received a Foyle’s Young Poet of the Year Prize from the award-winning Black Country poet Liz Berry at a prestigious ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Her poem describes the online temptation she faces:
“She enters the web,
Which wraps its claws around her,
And a certain post beguiles her,
She clicks, and lets him in.
The poem ends on a knife-edge, spelling out the agonising choice faced by a young woman:
“She must choose,
Between servitude and satisfaction,
Between foes and families
Between battlefields and bliss.
The decision is yours,
Two buttons, two paths, two lives
Life or Death,
Pick the right one,
For your sake.”
“I was thrilled that my poem was picked out,” said Pratiksha, “as it’s a subject that concerns me very much. My poem is about a girl faced with this choice through a message on her computer screen. She must choose whether to go, or stay with her loving family. This sort of temptation is everywhere for people of my age group including people with a good family life and caring parents. It saddens me that the religion is used for wrong reason as none of the religions including Islam, justifies killing.”
Although from a medical family –Pratiksha plans to study English at Cambridge and become a professional writer, though she admits that rather than starve in a garret while waiting for her big break, she may do a law conversion course and write in her spare time. She has certainly made the perfect start to her writing career and is currently a leading light of King Edward’s High School’s performance poetry club, run by Old Edwardian poet Jasmine Gardosi of the Birmingham arts collective ‘Beatfreeks’. She credits her English teachers, particularly Mrs Sarah Shore-Nye for spotting her talent and nurturing her love of verse.
“Mrs Shore-Nye is an amazing teacher and has really encouraged me”, said Pratiksha. “She’s also helped me to love classic poetry: Wordsworth and Christina Rosetti are two of my favourites. I feel some people overlook old poetry – but this is what made modern poetry. I’m taking part in a ‘Beat Freaks’ poetry performance called ‘Level Up Poetry’ at the Rep on November 6th which is all about news, with lots of layering voices and intonation to try to bring the poems alive.”
“Pratiksha is always strikingly original in her writing” enthused Mrs Shore-Nye. “She sees things differently from many of us and uses words to convey experiences, emotions and themes in a sophisticated, innovative way. She enjoys her creative writing and this has clearly impressed the prestigious judging panel. We’re lucky to have such a talented writer in our midst.”