18 October 2022

Oh My Sallow Tree

Oh My Sallow Tree

“Oh my Sallow Tree” is the title of the poem that won the National Poetry Day Competition - for the category of Key Stage 4 and 5 - launched by Bellevue Education . 

The Competition saw students of all age groups participating from each and every Bellevue School, creating an invisible web of poets across the country. 

During National Poetry Day, Bellevue shared on Social Media the winners of each Key Stage, nominating Aavani, one of our Ealing Independent College students, as the winner of Key Stage 4 and 5. On Wednesday last week, she received her certificate and her prize.

Aavani’s poem “Oh my Sallow Tree '' has the power of giving goosebumps to the reader, incorporating a range of modern themes and issues, such as environmental consciousness and abuse of women. 

Indeed, in her poem, a willow tree, referred to as “Sallow Tree” assumes the sembiances of a woman; through the first few lines, the sallow tree watches and cares for the humans around her. However, in the second part, the tree gets brutally cut at the base by the hands of those humans that she had always loved, suggesting that the abuse came from those unsuspected people the woman felt she could trust. 

The tragic action of cutting the tree at the base takes place under the eye of an immobilized narrator, who can only watch what is happening, without being able to help the tree - suggesting the human eye watching nature being destroyed without acting. 

The beauty of the poem lies in the dual meaning, which leaves the reader with a sense of inability to act themselves. 

Aavani reveals that she never suspected to win the Competition, although everyone else was deeply touched by her words. 

The poem ends with:

“With great delight they held up an axe to her trunk

And with great might began to tear away at her base

With what little might she could her leaves rusttled in terror

As if yelling for help

But no

I couldn't help her

All I could do was look from the top of the valley

At my poor sallow tree”

Congratulations, Aavani! 

Your sensitive and thoughtful style portrayed a story that left us speechless! 

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