‘Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one’s Eyes…’

The second ‘Michaelmas Matilda’ took place on Thursday 8th October – National Poetry Day. The performing of Hilaire Belloc‘s cautionary verse Matilda (to fellow pupils and Downside staff) is a First Form tradition that is unique to Downside.

The pupils worked with School Librarian Ms Craig to learn the poem off by heart, and with theatre staff to bring the poem to life through expressive, dramatic actions. 

The choice of the poem is not random: Belloc‘s son, Louis (C1915), attended Downside and his grandson, Dom Philip Jebb, was a monk and Head Master here.