English Literature GCSE: Jackie Kay on her poem 'Brendon Gallacher'.

Hip-hop star Akala meets with Jackie Kay to explore her poem 'Brendon Gallacher', about Jackie’s childhood imaginary friend.

We hear how the text is a love letter to childhood and the power of imagination, while young poets help Akala break down the language and meaning of the poem.

This clip is from the series Poetry: Between the Lines.

Teacher Notes

After watching the clip, encourage pupils to note down examples of imaginary people/worlds/ experiences from their own childhoods and the moment (if there was one moment, as in the poem) when reality encroached upon their creations.

Pupils could then explore these incidents in more detail, expanding their description to include colour, imagery, and remembered dialogue before experimenting with some of the techniques mentioned in the clip: repetition, possessive pronouns, the child as narrator.

Pupils could write their own poem, addressing whichever memory they have explored.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching English Literature.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC KS4/GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 in Scotland.