Kids create city map with mini poems about areas

Isla MacFadyen with her entry. Picture: Scott Taylor
Isla MacFadyen with her entry. Picture: Scott Taylor
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Budding young poets have helped create an interactive map featuring mini odes to the streets where they live.

‘Tweet your Streets’ saw pupils from across the Capital write short poems which were uploaded to a map of the city.

Kevin Xu. Picture: Scott Taylor

Kevin Xu. Picture: Scott Taylor

Their witty submissions have won praise from Edinburgh Makar Christine De Luca, who came up with the idea to inspire the poets of the future.

De Luca, who was appointed last year as the city’s poet laureate, said: “I think they have done well and I’ve really enjoyed working with a group of committed, enthusiastic teachers.

“I had wanted the submissions to be reasonably upbeat and to have a little bit of rhyme to lift the poems. And the children rose to that challenge.”

The pupils were challenged to write their poems in a 100 characters – even fewer than available in a conventional tweet.

“Writing a very short poem which captures something about your street isn’t easy, but reading the children’s poem proves it’s possible,” she added.

De Luca, who writes in English and in the Shetlandic 
dialect, is Edinburgh’s poet in residence, promoting Scottish writing and the Capital’s status as a Unesco City of Literature locally and around the world.

Poems produced by the children included this from a nine-year-old attending St George’s School for Girls: “My street is unique Old – an antique – It’s Newhouses Road. If you drive in you have to drive back. You see It’s a Cul-de-sac.”

The project was launched yesterday at the Central Library and features nearly 100 entries from pupils at Flora Stevenson Primary, Forth View Primary, Craigour Park Primary, Holy Rood High School, St George’s School for Girls and the Mary Erskine School.

A selection of tweets are also now on display within the library’s children’s area.

Some were humorous, while others captured their physical appearance or something of their history.

From the apple trees in Hope Terrace and the cobbles of St Vincent Street, to the excitement of hearing the jingle of an ice cream van, the map reveals the essence of living in Edinburgh as a child.

Councillor Richard Lewis, the city’s culture leader, said: “These snippets of poetry 
provide a sweet and honest view of Edinburgh’s communities in the eyes of its youngest residents.

“In Edinburgh we have a long and proud interest in literature and poetry, and it is great to see our pupils’ own writing talent thanks to this project.”

The map is the result of poetry workshops with children aged between seven and 13.

john.connell@edinburghnews.com