A NINE-YEAR-OLD school boy has won a national poetry competition.

Benjamin Lees, of Prudhoe West Academy, is the winner of LoveReading4Kids' 2021 Poetry Prize, in association with National Poetry Day, with his poem 'Sing a Song of Forests.'

The competition, aimed at children aged between 7-11, was inspired by the National Poetry Day theme of Choice.

Benjamin takes home a trophy and a batch of poetry books from Bloomsbury Children’s.

He also wins a visit to his school from National Poetry Day ambassador, Matt Goodfellow, and £250 of books for his school courtesy of National Book Tokens.

Judge Mónica Parle, executive director of the Forward Arts Foundation which is responsible for National Poetry Day, said: “Sing a Song of Forests reminded me so much of Whitman and his euphoric odes to nature, but that last line brings us away from the innocent forest to a direct reminder of the world we're currently living in.

"At the start, the poem felt so joyful and rhythmic, and then it slams right into an urgent political call to action.”

Judge's Choice: Sing a Song of Forests by Benjamin Lees

Sing a song of forests,

Trees swishing in the breeze,

Jumping squirrels collecting nuts,

Pollinating bees.

Badgers climbing in their holes,

Owls hunting for mice,

Happy children hiding in the bushes,

Playing hide and seek twice.

Butterflies fluttering their wings,

Water in the streams swishing through the rocks,

Sweet apples hanging from the apple tree,

The sun is shining brightly on the fox.

Sing a song of forests,

Trees swishing in the breeze,

Hundreds of animals,

Look after them please!

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