‘Children are the best poets,’ says Carol Ann Duffy, the first female poet Laureate in 350 years since the title was launched. ‘Everything is new and they don’t see the barriers in the way adults sometimes do.’
Duffy has written many children’s poems and picture books as well as adult volumes and her work has been on school syllabuses since the nineties. ‘Childhood is like a long greenhouse where everything is growing; it’s lush and steamy. It’s where poems come from,’ she says.
Children enjoy reading poetry and understand its power to express emotion and convey humour. But they may not always know how to begin writing it for themselves. Where better to start than by focusing on one of the five senses? Close your eyes, take a deep breath and let your sense of smell be your guide …