French Poetry Competition

Several weeks of diligent preparation for another Berthe Mouchette Poetry Competition at McKinnon Secondary College are finally coming to an end. All of us, French students as much as their teachers, were impatiently anticipating the pinnacle of this onerous yet unique task, always enjoyed by many.

This year again, all Year 9 and 10 French students were given an opportunity to display their talent in a more arty fashion and learn a French poem that they selected together with their teachers. A month later they have performed and recited their selected verses in front of an authentic French jury – representative from Alliance Française.  

The learning and reciting of poems takes a reasonable amount of dedication and effort. Students were able to listen to recordings in class and alone at home, learning verses and stanzas gradually. Once those were mastered, we could start working and perfecting expression, tone and emphasis. Some of the poems this year, just like every year, were accompanied by classic song versions, which certainly helped kids to memorise them and at the same time enjoy and appreciate them.

The Year 9s students revelled in reciting either ‘Toi qui a froid’ by Pierre Gammarra  or ‘Tourner les serviettes’ by Patrick Sebastian. Although ‘L’oiseau’ by Dali or even Raymond Queneau’s poem’ Men at work’ were very popular.

The Year 10s most popular poem was a song Une Chanson: ‘C’est la fête’ by Howard Ashman et Alan Menken.

Altogether, there were almost 100 students participating in this unique event and every candidate will receive a certificate for their performance.

This incomparable literary experience was rewarding for the students and it gave them an insight into French literature and its importance in French culture. I would like to congratulate all participants on their great efforts, enthusiasm and commitment. I also thank their French teachers Miss Dickson, Ms Jimenez and Miss Koehne for their assistance in this exceptional undertaking.

Félicitations tout le monde!


Ludmila Antal
Teacher of French