Bravery, Poetry and Freedom - Mill Hill Schools

Head’s blog

Bravery, Poetry and Freedom

It was National Poetry Day on Thursday and the theme for the year was Freedom. I’d like to thank Miss Bufton, Mrs Pendred and the English Department for all the fantastic activities that were put on for the children.

In Monday’s assembly I read the poem ‘Invictus’ by William Ernest Henley. The Belmont theme for the week was ‘Doing Something Brave’ and ‘Invictus’ also linked to the National Poetry Day them of Freedom. The poem was written whilst Henley was in hospital suffering with tuberculosis having just had a leg amputated. It is a poem that typifies the Victorian notion of the stiff upper lip. ‘Under the bludgeonings of chance, my head is bloodied but unbowed’ It was also the poem that Nelson Mandella kept on a scrap of paper that helped to keep him going during his 27 years imprisonment on Robben Island.

In the week of National Poetry Day it is important to remember how powerful poetry can be and how poetry has the capacity to inspire. We then went onto to talk to the children about the Invictus Games. Founded by Prince Harry in 2014, the games  recognise and celebrate the bravery and courage of members of  the armed forces wounded or unwell as a result of serving for their country.