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Poems

CELEBRATING HANNAH

A Poem For Hannah by Helen & Ella Eccles 

Hannah you’re amazing an inspiration to us all.
Grabbing life with both hands,
The glass always bubbling towards full.
Your enthusiasm, laughter, friendship and smiles
Light up every home you visit and school;
Your happy go lucky attitude, mixed with kindness & care
Reverberate around us like rhythm and blues.
Your wicked good looks attract eons of admirers
Whilst your determination and intelligence spark
Endless possibilities & a medical career.
You’re a rare and special pirate, who runs a tight ship
Why even Jack Sparrow blushes at your wit.
As long as we remember to take your advice
We’ll celebrate our talents, we’ll sing and we’ll dance
Seeking out the best in each other & mirroring your stance.

December 8th

A Poem For Hannah by written by Eleanor Rose. She composed it soon after a five year reunion for their year group.

   It's five years since graduation
   seven years since you
   I forgot what shoes you wore
   how your hair fell in your face
   But I would have liked to see you

   I would have liked to have a chat
   - look how vivacious and healthy I am!
   I would have liked to have found out what you're up to
   But you stopped getting up to things at 16

   I named a guinea pig after you
   was lent a tissue when we weren't allowed to wear black
   and I didn't own waterproof mascara
   and choir sang your favourite songs

   we celebrated your 17th
   And you weren't in my form throughout my time at school
   though you were through all yours
   Other people have said it better, Spanner Banana
   I do remember your rainbow belt, you know

 

FULL STOP 

A Poem For Hannah by Kevin Harrington
(Kevin is the Father of one of Hannah's closest friends)

Full stop; we learn it when we are four,
The sentence is at an end, no more,
A break and then perhaps the next word,
Sometimes none, like the last chord,
How can it mean so much, when it is so little?
So strong, so final, from such a small scribble,
It was meant to be a novel, but was a short story,
A tragic end, instead of expected fame and glory,
I will cherish every paragraph and chapter that I shared,
With a warm, fun loving friend who always cared,
Your memories I will remember until the day I drop,
We will love you forever, Hannah,
Full Stop

GRIEF

A Poem For Hannah by Emily Rivett 

It’s a howl at first.
That bestial response
Inherent to mankind
Yet something you weren’t aware of.

Then a fresh wound:
Grating emotion
Stinging, exhausting, constant
Parasitic – living just beneath the surface,
Leaping unexpectedly
Raw -
Red if it had a colour.

Waves follow
Perpetually
One after another
Crashing, they are surprisingly forceful,
Gradually subsiding,
Only to build up again -
Peaks and troughs
And random moments of swash

Then -
A low ache
Throbbing, perennial, bruising.

After,
Only shooting reminders,
Occasional arrows
A song, a person, an event.

This wears away to fond remembrance
- Or so I am told.

SHE IS GONE

By David Harkins, © 1981 Silloth, Cumbria, UK
Read by Olivia & Christina at The Tree Planting for Hannah at Putney High School

You can shed tears that she is gone or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she’s gone or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back or you can do what she’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

 

THOUGH MUCH IS TAKEN, MUCH ABIDES

A Poem for Hannah by Sally Cockburn
December 23rd 2007
(Sally is a teacher at Putney High School)

I did not know Hannah,
I never taught her,
But what of that?
I know her now
And will never forget
That moment,
Etched in all our minds
When first we heard
The doleful, dark and shocking news.
We will always remember
Where we were and how we felt
When a phonecall told us:
“Hannah has died”.
It was news that should be
‘howled out in the desert air’.

Later, we compared notes:
A universal darkness had fallen
On our Saturday night;
No-one could focus on anything –
Except Hannah
And her family.

On Monday, back at school,
In the staffroom
We shared our sorrow:
A minute’s silence
And then each to our classes.
Heavyhearted we walked,
Eyes on the ground,
Pale, purposeful and silent
As we rehearsed in our minds
The words we would say.

Innocent, expectant faces,
Knowing instinctively
Something was wrong.
All eyes on the teacher,
The bearer of bad tidings.
Each class fell silent,
Froze, immobile as we spilt
Our dark, bleak, weeping words.
Then, a universal, respectful
Awed silence spread
From classroom to classroom,
And down every corridor.
Every teacher, child,
Cleaner, cook, caretaker
And office staff
With only one thought.

But,
Slowly,
The school began to breathe again
And Hannah’s bright beautiful presence
Began to lift the veil
Of shock and disbelief:
Her imprint everywhere
Radiating light
As her smile was remembered.
All day long she filled the school,
Flitting down corridors,
Singing in choir,
Focusing in science labs
Laughing in the canteen.
Her absence and presence
Equally felt.

The numbness eased
And words began to spill
And flow and gather momentum,
Like an orchestra tuning up.
Words between friends,
Between teachers,
Anecdotes, fond memories
And last glimpses poignantly
Recalled.

Then “Facebook” sprang into life
And soon,
A full blown symphony of words
Could be heard
With every instrument
Singing her praises.
A swelling choir of voices,
A crescendo of love,
A celebration of a beautiful young life
Snatched from us all too soon.
But what a legacy she has unknowingly left us.
Echoes of these days
Will resonate at Putney High
For years to come:
“Though much is taken, much abides.”*

* This quotation comes from the poem “Ulysses” by Tennyson, a poem written shortly after the death of his close friend Arthur Hallam.

This quotation comes from “Macbeth”, Act 4 scene 3 when Ross has to give news to Macduff that his wife and small children have been murdered.

You can read the poems written for and about Hannah