Welcome to our new poetry page, Stretched Lines. We would love you to share your odes, verses and other lines and rhymes (and assonances!) with us at hello@stretchedlight.com and our Poet-in-Residence Simon Rae has produced a piece to kick off proceedings. At Stretched Light, both Simons’ youngest children were caught up in this year’s exam shambles. Simon R views the plight of many young students across the country through the lens of his daughter, Naomi.

Naomi’s Grades

Naomi’s grades were predicted:
An A plus an A plus a B.
But her teachers were all contradicted.
What she got was two Bs and a C

Which could have severely restricted
Her choices about her degree.
But the Minister then interdicted
With a face-saving U-turn (we’ll see)

And reprieved the thousands afflicted
(Algorithmical despondency)
By restoring the grades as predicted,
In her case two As and a B.

A shambles, a farce, self-inflicted,
The government tossed on high seas
With a Captain who should be evicted –
And tomorrow it’s GCSEs!

Simon Rae