The poet is an old, weary-looking fellow, leaning over his scratched desk by flickering candlelight, pulling together awe-inspiring and completely inexplicable images into manuscripts which are released to the world on his death-bed. Poets are always dead; their black-and-white mugshots holding ‘passed away’ dates of 1812 or 1903. But then, the Myth of the Poet was broken, the images in my head dispelled – the poet of our A-level poetry collection was not only alive but he was actually going to visit Stoke Poges!
A day-long workshop was organised to propel the students of A-level English through the mysteries of poetry, not exactly a recipe for enthusiasm but certainly exciting enough to attract Focus students from all across the United Kingdom. A total of 57 girls and 15 boys converged on Stoke Poges Campus, coming by the bus-load to cram themselves into our pocket-sized common rooms and spill through our groaning corridors. Then…the long-awaited, living-and-breathing Jacob Sam-La Rose arrived! A contemporary poet. A genius in verse. An inspiration and help for the victims of A-level English.
It was a success. All last doubts on the Poet were eradicated as the vibrant, grinning, dancing bundle of fun leapt round the hall whilst reeling off lines of poetry and flashes of inspiration. The workshop quickly picked up pace and the day flashed by as our brains were crammed full of information under the able hands of Sam-La Rose. Meanings became clear, questions were answered and now we just wait with baited breath for those dreaded English exam results.