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The Stephen Spender Prize 2018 for poetry in translation
in association with the Guardian

Polish Spotlight 10-and-under category, winner

Read the judges’ comments
Download the 2018 booklet
Email to request a free hard copy of the booklet (UK addresses only)
Read the winning entries from previous years


Leo Domalewski

Sun Sets


Sun sets. Under the sea it's hiding.
Hiding the sun's flaming head,
Light arms, shiny eyes
And night like a black ball spinning around.

Spinning around on the shore, jumping on the waves
And in the black shells it lights stars!

Translated from the Polish by Leo Domalewski
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Słońce Zachodzi


Słońce zachodzi. W morzu się chowa.
Chowa się słońca płonąca głowa,
świetliste ręce, błyszczące oczy
i noc jak czarna piłka się toczy.

Toczy się brzegiem, skacze po falach
i w czarnych muszlach gwiazdy zapala!

Dorota Gellner

"Le Sultan" by Jacques Prévert in Paroles ©Editions Gallimard, Paris, 1949

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Translation commentary

The children in my class are only five years old and I have been amazed at how they are fluent in both Polish and English to the point where they are able to translate for their friends!

Our class topic for the last two weeks has been 'Under the Sea' so we chose poems that extended the play-based learning we have been completing in class. Each child had the opportunity to have a one-on-one discussion with a Polish member of the EAL* team who read them the poem line by line. She then wrote down what they said, word for word, in English. A few words were unknown to the child so they typed them in online and looked them up in a Polish dictionary.

The children were so excited to share their translations with their friends in class.

*English as an Additional Language

Charlotte Bowes, Leo Domalewski's class teacher