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Still my beating mind

Daisy's Poem and Artwork, First Runner up (Joint), 8-11 years

FIRST RUNNER UP (Joint), 8-11 years


Who created it?

Daisy, age 11



“I’m Daisy, I’m eleven years-old and I absolutely love reading, art and music (in particular singing). I remember loving art and music since I was really little. I loved doodling and painting at nursery and started making my own books then too - just stapling paper together and drawing pictures in the pages. I never really stopped making books though. More recently I have been making junk journals which I fill with my own art and bits and pieces of design, colour, jewels, trinkets, ribbon, string and other textures I collect. My little sister and I sing and dance our way around the house all of the time which fills us with happiness. We go to the British Theatre Academy (BTA) after school on Fridays which involves a lot of singing and dancing. We have performed Moana Jnr, Matilda Jnr and our next show is Sister Act Jnr at the Elgiva Theatre in Chesham. We should be performing in London Theatres but Covid has meant that hasn’t been possible but hopefully we can soon because that would be awesome. I never expected to be shortlisted and I’m really really happy you liked my poem.” 


My creative response

I Walk to Still My Beating Mind

I walk, my rage a knot of fire roaring deep inside of me.

My thoughts battling for my attention in the hot mess of my mind.

Everything seems limp and lifeless, the birds' song sorrowful.

Ugh, why did I come on this walk?


I walk, my rage a knot of fire, but now it's softened to a glowing ember.

A little spring has worked its way into my step and the birds' song is full of love.

Is my heart beating along with them? No, surely not?

Ugh, why did I come on this walk?


I walk, my rage but a whisper of a hint of a notion of a memory.

I'm skipping, I'm dancing, swirling, leaping, like a lamb for the love of this day. 

I can't stop. I am spring. It has sprung, in my heart and my soul and my toes!

Thank goodness I came on this walk. 




About my creative response

“My favourite part of English at school is creative writing. SPaG, comprehension and spellings are all about rules and I love the freedom of creative writing. I feel the same about art because there is no right or wrong, you can just find your own way and go with it. I combined two of my passions in my creative response and even thought about trying to sing my poem hahaha!"

"I have recently discovered inks and then got some for my birthday and I have been experimenting with them ever since. I played around with three different backgrounds for my poem. 

  1.     Sunset in watercolours - which didn’t make me feel “wow”.
  2.     Marbling inks for the silver picture incorporating the quote. My idea was to create an A3 version and write my whole poem in the contours the inks created but I preferred my third creation so I focussed on that one. The marbling ink has a different oil base so it floats in water which makes really cool patterns.
  3.     Writing on tracing paper over ink-art. I played around with some different colour combinations. This was my favourite because yellow is my happy colour, green represents the Chiltern countryside and the turquoise represents The River Chess when it goes the same crazy turquoise green sometimes. I think it’s to do with algae mixing with the chalk stream."


How has physical activity helped you when you felt anxious or upset?

"Exercise always makes me happy. If ever I feel flat or low I get outside with my dogs. Even if it's raining being outdoors with them makes my heart feel light and happy just like theirs. They don't care about rain or mud so nor do I. I love netball and playing sports with my friends. I love the feeling of it and I don't really care if we win or lose. I’m really not the sportiest kid in my year which could put me off trying but I try my best and that feels important and nice."

“I sing, dance and act with my sister and a whole bunch of friends completely outside of school. At the end of it we come out ecstatic and energised even after 3-4 hours of high-energy dancing (when high-energy isn’t really my style)!”


What do you do to ‘still your beating mind’?

"I read a lot and I niggle my sister, whoops, I’m joking haha! I read every day as much as I can. It makes me feel calm and lovely and I go to sleep feeling perfectly peaceful. Sometimes we do a little bit of Pilates because my mum is a Pilates instructor. Sometimes we listen to a lovely mindfulness app called ‘Smiling Minds’ or we do lavender oil massages with hot water bottles." 


What is your favourite Shakespeare play, character or quote?

“I read a lot of books recommended on a website called ‘A Mighty Girl’. It made me a bit sad that the main characters in books were always boys or men and often rescuing girls or women and saving the day. I love reading about strong female characters. I think I am a feminist. Shakespeare is quite funny and he seems to like using strong female characters even though women weren’t equal to men in those days, so I like his style."

"Women definitely weren’t equal to men in Shakespeare’s era or in the plays I’ve read but all of the important male characters have important female characters like their mother, sister or daughter. 

Characters I like include:

Portia from The Merchant of Venice

Portia inherited everything when her dad died which is unusual for those sexist times. She is therefore a bit like a man because she has wealth herself rather than through a male relative. However, her father manages to control who she marries from his grave by making a test for all her future suitors. This leads to her having a strange and limited role in her future.

Desdemona from Othello 

Desdemona goes against her father’s wishes which is very brave. Instead of marrying a rich man her father chooses, she marries the man she loves who also happens to be black. I don’t know if the play is racist but she was a rebel and true to herself. She seems like an independent thinking female character and actually a very modern one for the times."