The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Poet Feature ... Carole Bromley

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Hello Balloonists!

A few days ago, the poetry world was waiting for news about who had won the highly prestigious Caterpillar Poetry Prize for 2022. This is a competition run each year by those lovely people at the Caterpillar Magazine for the best poem written for children.

In the past, winners have included marvellous poets like Louise Grieg, Laura Mucha and Coral Rumble. Coral has poems here on the Dirigible Balloon, as does the latest winner … the brilliant Carole Bromley!

Carole’s poem for the 2022 award was called 'Pry'vit' which is Ukrainian for ‘Hello’ and thanks to Carole and The Caterpillar Magazine, we can read her words here, along with a beautiful illustration created by the excellent artist, Claudia Tremblay.

So, without further ado, the Dirigible Balloon is proud to present the poems of Carole Bromley …
picture copyright (©) Claudia Tremblay
picture copyright (©) Claudia Tremblay

Carole Bromley was shortlisted for the Manchester Writing for Children Award in 2014 and her poem, ‘Goldilocks’ performed at the CLiPPA Awards the following year. She has been highly commended three times in the Caterpillar competition and in 2022 was the winner with her poem ‘Pry’vit’. Her children’s poems have appeared in ‘A Poem for every Night of the Year’ (MacMillan), ‘Let in the Stars’ (MMU),‘The Head that Wears a Crown’ (Emma Press), Poems for 8 Year Olds (MacMillan) and The Best Ever Book of Funny Poems (MacMillan). Carole also has poems in the Dirigible Balloon, Tyger,Tyger and Paper Lanterns. Her first collection for children, ‘Blast Off!’ was published by Smith/Doorstop and is illustrated by Cathy Benson.

Carole says “I love writing poems for children. It’s my absolute favourite thing. I was a teacher for many years and I have four children of my own and now THIRTEEN grandchildren. My poems are sometimes based on their experiences or conversations I have with them and sometimes they just come from my own memories or my imagination - which is really where all the best writing begins.

Here are some more of Carole Bromley’s poems:

Why this poem ended up not being about oranges after all

Perfect rhymes with oranges
are comparatively rare.

I’d like to write about their zest,
instead I’m in despair;

as for those pips, that yummy juice
I really couldn’t care.

Their pith and flesh just leave me cold
I’m only too aware

to rhyme an orange with anything
I’ll be tearing out my hair,

so I bought a rhyming dictionary
though I had no cash to spare

and looked up rhymes for oranges
but there were none in there

so in the end I just gave up.
This poem’s about a pear.

(published in The Best Ever Book of Funny Poems)

Crying in the Cloakroom

I couldn’t eat my lunch that day
however hard I tried

I couldn’t do a single sum
I felt so sad inside

I couldn’t read or write a word,
Sir was mystified

I simply couldn’t concentrate -
too preoccupied

The teacher set the class some work
and beckoned me outside,

lent me a big white handkerchief
when I sat down and cried,

said, It’s ok to be sad
the day my rabbit died.

(Highly commended in The Caterpillar Prize 2019)

Poems in this article are copyright (©) Carole Bromley
The article was edited and organised by Jonathan Humble

About the Writer

Jonathan Humble

Jonathan lives in Cumbria. His work has been published online and in print in a number of magazines and anthologies. His first collection of poetry, My Camel's Name Is Brian, was published by TMB Books in 2015. His second poetry book, Fledge came out in 2020 through Maytree Press. His poems for children have been shortlisted and highly commended in the Caterpillar and Yorkmix poetry competitions and he is the editor of The Dirigible Balloon. His poem Masterclass was chosen as the Milk House Poem of the year at the end of 2022.