'PORTSMOUTH'

A Portsmouth Music Hub Project

In June 2022 Portsmouth Poetry was commissioned by The Portsmouth Music Hub to work with 3 local primary schools, creating poems around the theme of “Portsmouth”. 

Liz Weston ran a 2-hour workshop with each school on which all the elements of the poems were created. Liz then , in her words, “knitted” the elements together to create the finished piece. In another follow-up workshop the pupils practiced performing the poem ready for the big performance in the Guildhall on 30 June alongside school choirs performing songs all about and inspired by Portsmouth

'Portsmouth'

Created by Year 3 pupils from New Horizons Primary School

          Portsmouth this Island City

          The shimmering salty sea around us

          An ocean surrounds us

          We love the beaches,

          the sand and shells, the seashore


          Ports Mouth gives shelter

          A Safe harbour

          the navy keeps us safe

          Ferries travel to and fro

          the cruise ships come and go

          and ships with cargo

          but also

          The vast Victory

          The Warrior

          The magnificent Mary Rose


           Fratton Park

          fans cheering, chanting, singing

          Blue and white

          Pompey fight the fight


          The sun in the sky, I run in the sun

          There’s fun in the sun for everyone

          The fun-fair

          Ice cream on the pier

          Games in the arcade

          Candy floss and donuts

          Giant swans on the lake

          Fish and chips


          Walking squawking

         Swooping scavenging

         The shrieking seagulls steal your food

         Why do they have to be so rude?


         Portsmouth Ports Mouth

         Salt water as far as the eye can see

         This Island City

         Surrounded by the shining sea

         Safe Harbour for you and me 

'Spinnaker Tower'

Created by Newbridge Junior School, the children were a mix from years 3 and 4 and a couple from year 5

Pointing into the sky

The giant tower casts a shadow through the day

Like a sundial marking the time

It stands so high


Up we climb


The power of the tower

It is so tall

Everything else seems small

From the top

You gaze down on the people like ants

A model town – a perfect Portsmouth

Tiny houses and flats

It looks like lego-land

The traffic – toy trucks and trains

The dock yard, the castle

Ferries, ships and tankers

We can see history and modern life

The Victory and the Hovercraft


The shining Spinnaker sails across the sparkling sea

Glass glistens by day

And glows at nights

White by day

Bright lights

Jewels at night

A necklace of gems

In glittering gold

Exquisite emeralds

Glowing green

Brilliant blue sapphires

Dazzling diamonds

Rubies red

A rainbow of lights

A glory of colour


Pointing into the sky

The tremendous tower, tall and proud

Held by strong foundations 50 metres deep

Stands still by the seashore

'Southsea Castle'

Created by year 5 pupils (and 1 from year 3) from Kings Academy

Southsea Castle stands proud by the shore

Built in 1544

Holding its history and its mystery

History you can’t ignore

Over 500 years


A castle built by a king

It stands full square,

Its thick walls protecting

The kingdom in safe-keeping

A well

A bell to ring a warning

Cannons defending

Guns guarding

Over 500 years


Standing sentry with its sturdy walls

Many have walked its halls

Prisoners have wailed

In its depths


Dark, damp and dank the deep dungeons

Descending deep, deep down

Descending deep down into the dark


Over 500 years


There are shadows cast by candles


In the cracks and corners

The ghosts moan

Here there is bone

The paper-white bones haunt us

Visitors, tourists come here

But also unwelcome guests

Ghosts of the past


Over 500 years

The bones remember

Lost souls

Ghostly sailors singing shanties

Prisoners crying for release

The bells ring their warning

The king’s ship was sinking

Into the deep descending.


The stone walls remain protecting

The strong grey building defending.

Over 500 years


Unlock your secrets

Show your dark history


The castle has its history

The castle holds its mystery

The castle captivates

The castle keeps its captives

The castle isn’t telling

The castle keeps its secrets


Over 500 years