Big Birthday Poem

Posted by
The Roald Dahl Museum
Posted on
4:00pm, 24th September
Museum, Roald Dahl 100
Poet Sara Hirsch
  • Poet Sara Hirsch
  • Creating the Big Birthday Poem
  • Reading the poem to visitors at the Museum

Poet Sarah Hirsch worked with Museum visitors to create a Big Birthday Poem to celebrate Roald Dahl 100.

Visitors to the Museum's Roald Dahl 100 celebrations on Saturday 17 September helped Sara Hirsch create a Big Birthday Poem (or two!).

Sara explored the Village, library and Museum galleries inspiring visitors to come up with magical lines and rhymes using prompts as starting points for creativity.

At the end of the day Sara wove the responses onto two beautiful poems to celebrate Roald Dahl 100. Sara read them in the Museum courtyard to close the day of celebration. You can read them both below, enjoy!

Old friend
By Sara Hirsch and visitors to the Roald Dahl Museum

Walk the trail to discover
a national treasure,
shining golden in his grave
from a ticket saved. 

Pause to admire
chocolate box cottages
propped up by
book spines
and revolting lines,
cemented from a century
of half-remembered rhymes.

A sweetly slender shadow
slips between gifted gates,
waits silently at the end
of a caramel queue
then sneaks through
with fizzy footsteps
and disappears from view. 

Did you notice how it leaned
towards the open window
to let the dreams fall through?

Stand opposite
red and white pumps,
where red kites jump
from peachy cloud
to chokey tree.
Ask, if he looked up
is this what
the champion of the world
would see? 

She approaches the counter
clutching books like door handles,
grips tight to the adventures
she hasn’t opened yet,
lets her mind abseil down pages
catching words as they hurricane past. 

The shadow casts a toothless grin
then whispers away
before you notice him. 

He shimmers past
while we are
concocting stories;
marvellous medicines
for busy minds.

But look closely,
if you can. 

Is there something
in the way
the shadow
as it follows? 

The way it
round libraries
like a secret
only the books can see? 

Notice how the shadow
tickles the stairs
as it climbs out of sight,
the faded footsteps
of a smiling old man
with stories at his lips
and magic in his eyes,
that you

By Sara Hirsch and visitors to the Roald Dahl Museum

He still gets emails you know.
Answers them from the past
imparts imagination
into every typed reply.

He lives in bricks
and bookmarks now
he didn’t really die.