Tasneem chose a poem which is close to her heart to translate – and was ‘commended’ for ‘The Stephen Spender Prize.’
The Stephen Spender Prize is the leading prize for poetry translation – pupils are asked to translate a poem from any other language into English.
“Last year in my weekly Poetry Club we took part in this competition and the entries were absolutely brilliant!” said English teacher Miss Bland.
“We had a range of languages from Bengali to Arabic to Gujararti. It was so amazing and such an honour to see our pupils be so proud of being multilingual and to be able to share a really important part of themselves with the world.
“This competition also allows pupils to celebrate the different cultures they come from with their thoughtful and thought-provoking reflections about their poems.”
Year 8 Tasneem chose the poem ‘Mona Remona’ to translate from Bengali into English and was entered for the prestigious Stephen Spender prize.
“I chose this poem because this is a poem my mum used to read when she was little and lived in Bangladesh. This poem is a little boy saying how he will earn money and buy his mum and sister things.”
“Bangladeshi poetry has been an important part of my childhood and I feel that learning these poems has helped me to hold on to my culture even when living in the UK. When we discussed this poem together recently, my mum stated “You will not get the humour because of the difference of generations.However, this lit a spark in my brain… One of the reasons why I chose this poem is it reminded me about how time and age can change many things.”
“For example taste in things like music, fashion and humour. My mum said when she was in primary school in Bangladesh she used to love this poem. The words bring back some of my mum’s happiest memories of when she lived in Bangladesh and this is another reason is why it is so important to me. ”
“I get to see my mum happy and hear her tell me about her life before me. I hope that one day I can pass this poem on to others in my family too.”
Tasneem narrowly missed out on the Schools Laureate Prize but has been specially commended for her efforts and will receive a certificate.
Her name will appear in this year’s Stephen Spender Prize booklet which will be available in print and online early in the new year and will also be published on www.stephen-spender.org