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The Magic Box

There is one workshop that I have used again and again with all kinds of different children and it honestly never fails to amaze me what they produce by the end of it. This is largely thanks to the richness of Kit Wright’s wonderful poem ‘The Magic Box.’ I take along my own magic box which I show the children and its secret contents that mean something to me before asking the children to write their own poems. I find that they always get really, really excited about this as there are no limits to what they can put in their own imaginary magic boxes: feelings, memories, inventions, fantasies, people, places, the sound that two birds make to one another. You name it, they can put it in.

Here is Kit Wright’s fabulous, inspiring poem in full:

THE MAGIC BOX

I will put in the box

the swish of a silk sari on a summer night,
fire from the nostrils of a Chinese dragon,
the tip of a tongue touching a tooth.

I will put in the box

a snowman with a rumbling belly
a sip of the bluest water from Lake Lucerene,
a leaping spark from an electric fish.

I will put into the box

three violet wishes spoken in Gujarati,
the last joke of an ancient uncle,
and the first smile of a baby.

I will put into the box

a fifth season and a black sun,
a cowboy on a broomstick
and a witch on a white horse.

My box is fashioned from ice and gold and steel,
with stars on the lid and secrets in the corners.
Its hinges are the toe joints of dinosaurs.

I shall surf in my box
on the great high-rolling breakers of the wild Atlantic,
then wash ashore on a yellow beach
the colour of the sun.

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