Third place for pupil in poetry competition

Christ's Hospital pupil Esther Sorooshian SUS-140512-124902001
Christ's Hospital pupil Esther Sorooshian SUS-140512-124902001

Year 13 pupil, Esther Sorooshian has taken third place in prestigious National Poetry Competition.

The annual Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation celebrates the art of literary translation. Entrants translate a poem from any language, modern or classical, and submit the original poem with their translation and a commentary in which they consider the translation process.

Christ’s Hospital was once again very well represented in the 2014 prizes. Two of the top five awards went to Christ’s Hospital pupils past and present. Henner Petin, who left Christ’s Hospital in the summer and is now studying Classics at Oxford, was commended and Esther Sorooshian took 3rd place, a large cash prize and the honour of publication in The Guardian.

The judges praised Esther’s ‘daring unpacking’ of the poem by the French surrealist, Francis Ponge.

The Frog

As sharp needles of rain

Bounce from bloated meadows,

A dwarf amphibian,

A one-handed Ophelia,

Barely a fistful, unclenching,

Flings herself from the foot of the poet

Into the next pond.

Unpin her -

She’s highly strung,

Her long limbs – such pretty legs -

In the rubber glove of her skin -

No meat on them; lithe

With a grace I’ve seldom seen

In fish or fowl. Like mercury,

She slips through my fingers.




Her fat, beating heart.

Her shrivelled eyelids,

And drooping mouth

Move me to let her go.

Report and pictures contributed by Christ’s Hospital.