Stamford’s new poet laureate gave her first poem in public to the new mayor of Stamford.
Outgoing poet laureate Bill Taylor first stirred the gathered councillors and people of Stamford with his poem for the outgoing mayor Clem Walden.
The new poet laureate Rebecca Westwood then read her poem to new mayor Sue Sandall, who had given her own powerful speech demonstrating her commitment and love for the town and its people.
Rebecca has a profound relationship with poetry.
She said: “I have been writing poetry since my English teacher gave me a pen and told me to write. I write from the heart, I write about the beauty I see in the everyday, nature, people and relationship.”
Like so many people, Rebecca has had to go through “dark times” in her life and she feels that poetry has helped her get through them.
She added: “I lost my father to Motor Neurone Disease and have suffered with cancer. Poetry has helped me to ponder life’s limitless possibilities and it can stop the world for a precious few moments.”
Having successfully fulfilled her first duty as poet laureate, Rebecca is looking forward to a full year of bringing poetry to the people of Stamford.
She said: “I want to show adults that there is a beauty in silence and expression and I want to show children that they have a tool inside themselves, we can all use poetry to work out how we really feel and to release any negativity in our lives”.
Rebecca became poet laureate after a competition held in April which brought many high quality poets to compete for the position.
Here is Rebecca’s poem called ‘Mayor’s Inauguration’.
Sue will wear her civic chains with pride,
letting them clink
as she bows with reverence,
claps her hands with the crowds,
chuckles at events and occasions,
lets them hang
at many a meeting
upholding the democratic values.
Sue will smile
her non political smile
with an honest integrity
upholding her values
with equality and fairness.
what her people want.
what her people suffer.
Sue will wear her civic chains with pride
even when she’s singing,
even when she’s gardening,
balancing the books.
We know this
because her dreams have taken her
to motherhood, grand motherhood,
and now we are here
our new Mayor,
Our first citizen.
As she wears her civic chains with pride.