Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

G is for Children’s Poet Philip Gross, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA


Philip Gross

Philip Gross was born in Delabole, north Cornwall. Until recently he was Professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Wales. He is a Quaker, and that special relationship between words and silence informs much of what he writes; poetry for adults and for children, thought-provoking fiction for young people, schools opera libretti, radio short stories and plays. His children’s poetry includes The All-Nite Café, illustrated by Claire Fletcherwhich won the Signal Award, and Off Road To Everywhere, illustrated by Jonathan Gross, the winner of the CLiPPA (CLPE) poetry award 2011. Philip’s work enabling poetry in schools over thirty years has often been site-specific, working for many years with the National Trust in Cornwall on their Arts In Trust scheme. His new book, Dark Sky Park, Poems from the Edge of Nature illustrated by Jesse Hodgson (Otter-Barry) is available soon, here. His website is here.


Here is one of Philip’s fabulous poems:


Ways of Conquering Everest


… at all, the first time, ever

… by the direct route, in winter

… solo

… without oxygen or breathing apparatus

… travelling light


… all of the above, but barefoot

… without toes

… in secret, like under the bedclothes,

with a torch, by night


… blindfold, trusting your guide


… without maps, or GPS, or compass

… without a clue


… very politely, in the English fashion: after

            you; no, after you

… or if even that feels awkward, then

forming an orderly queue


… the whole family, together

(under 4s come free)

… in the amateur way: did I climb that? Oh!

as if accidentally


… as a tourist, in appalling shorts,

only here for the view

… in swimming costumes or

… sky-streaking

(very quickly, and completely nude)


… by mountain bike

… by yak

… by yeti

… by hook or by crook

… by the skin of your teeth


… by an enormous catapult, fired by a hundred sherpas

from the valley miles beneath


… in high heels      .

… in fun-furry slippers

… in princessy pink


… by extreme patience, with global warming,

without ice (and sooner than you think)


… piggy-back

… wheelbarrow-fashion

… as a three-legged race

… abseiling from a hot air balloon

… skydiving from the edge of space


… by none of the above,

I mean, let’s not go to extremes

… when no one is looking,

not even yourself

… in your dreams


© Philip Gross (from Dark Sky Park (Otter-Barry Books, 2018)

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment! Thank you!

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter


Award-Wining Children's Poet, Author, Wildlife and Climate enthusiast, NPD Ambassador, blogger and owner of Lola the retired alert dog and Paddy the alert dog in training. Books include CLiPPA shortlisted Being Me, Poems about Thoughts, Worries and Feelings, Editor of Shaping the World, Author of Be the Change, Apes to Zebras, The Same Inside, Reaching the Stars and Animal Magic. I visit schools, libraries, literary festivals via Zoom and give lessons on writing poetry for children. @Lizpoet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s