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Walking Away

Exam time is upon us, revision is in full swing, and families and teachers need our resources (and 1-1 lessons) more than ever.

This year the poetry resources have been very popular.  I’ve written in previous blogs about the GCSE poetry questions and the amount of work that must be done to prepare a student for that exam. 

As a student, Mr L had Post-it notes all over the walls – they were his favourite revision aid.  So, drawing on his own experience, he developed a range of Poetry Posters to help students.  Put the poster on the wall, use the annotation boxes for revision notes and read it every day.  When I was uploading the posters to our website, I saw Walking Away by Cecil Day-Lewis, one of my favourites.

It explores the experience of a parent watching a child grow, ‘like a winged seed loosened from its parent stem’ and moving away like ‘a half-fledged thing set free.’ 

This poem has always moved me, more so as a parent to a teenager.  It perfectly encapsulates the heart wrenching feelings of a parent when a child is no longer fully dependent on them, mixed with pride and love that the most precious thing in their life is growing up to be a confident young adult.

We are feeling this keenly at the moment.  Our daughter is finding her feet in the arts world and spends many hours away from us rehearsing and learning.  We couldn’t be prouder, but we are at that stage where there are more empty hours than we are used to.

The last two lines of the poem have been a constant for me since our daughter became a teenager, ‘How selfhood begins with a walking away, And love is proved in the letting go.’

Let’s be proud of our teenagers, warts and all, celebrate their wins and let them go into the world as self-assured optimistic young adults.




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