News Centre

Poetry in Action

Jennifer Zeng (Year 12)

Poetry in Action came all the way from Sydney, Australia to Sancta Maria College, as part of their 2022 Schools Show Tour!

Based primarily in Australia, Poetry in Action is a touring theatre company bringing poetry to life through dynamic and engaging performances. Their live School Tour across metropolitan and regional Australia as well as New Zealand brought this landmark program to Sancta Maria College.

Team Raven, consisting of actors: Olivia Hall-Smith, Joseph Tanti and Emily Edwards who performed two fast-paced, captivating 45-minute shows – one for Years 9&10 and another for Years 11-13. Years 9 & 10 watched the United Nations of Poetry performance whilst Years 11-13 watched Words of War, exploring multiple Wilfred Owen poems and their depiction of war.

From the ideals of war imposed through patriotism and propaganda to the magnitude of injured bodies and souls, Wilfred Owen wrote about a wide range of topics regarding war. We learnt of his own experiences going into, and emerging from World War 1, and the horrors faced by so much of human that ultimately, it led him to become one of the leading English poets at the time.

Some poems that were brought into action were: Dulce Et Decorum Est – a familiar phrase for some Year 12 English classes; Anthem for Doomed Youth, Futility and Disabled. The session was filled with quick character changes, manoeuvring props to match a certain scene, and a humorous modern touch woven in between the poetic storylines. Literature and history education were displayed in a refreshing way, and sparked a greater appreciation for poetry and its’ way of expression.

‘I really liked it! We did Dulce et Decorum Est in class and it was really interesting to see how they interpreted it and how they caught on to the use of iambic pentameter and the sudden increase of tempo – that was staccato – like when the gas shells dropped. Also, I had previously done research on John Keats and Siegfried Sassooon for my writing portfolio, so it was really fun to see different things linked together!’ – Johann Ang

We’d like to extend our gratitude to the Poetry in Action team and our English department!