Winner of Under-17 Ode to Digestion Poetry Competition

The Society announces the winner of our ‘Ode to Digestion’ under-17s poetry competition

We are delighted to announce Rhiannon Williams of Our Lady and St. Oswald’s Primary, as the winner of our under -17s poetry competition. Lucky Rhiannon has won herself a Kindle Fire and a trip from the Mobile Teaching Unit for her School! The competition was part of our Biology Week 2013 festivities. We gave students the first verse and they were challenged to complete our poem in no more than 200 words.

Apples and pears, pizzas and pies,

The food that we eat is fuel for our lives.

But there’s something that happens, that stops congestion

It’s this little thing, it’s called digestion…

We received some excellent poems and our judges were bowled over the number and quality of entries. The winning entry will be published in the winter 2013 issue of Physiology News and can also be viewed below along with the other entries that reached the final shortlist.

We would like to thank everyone who entered this competition and congratulate Rhiannon on her achievement. 

Winner - Rhiannon Williams, 9, Our Lady and St Oswald's Primary   

Apples and pears, pizzas and pies,
The food that we eat is fuel for our lives.
But there’s something that happens, that stops congestion
It’s this little thing, it’s called digestion

In through the mouth our yummy food goes,
Spreading energy and growth from our heads to our toes.
Teeth start chewing, taste buds awaken
And food is mushed though mastication

Our mouth glands pump out saliva and spit
To wash the food down, bit by bit
Through the gullet and into the belly,
Where all bits of food break down and go smelly.

Our stomach walls squeeze and churn
Then gastric enzymes take their turn.
Acid and bile dissolve our food
The proteins, carbs and fats we’ve chewed.

Round the maze of intestines the food finds its way,
Through small ones and large ones its passing each day.
As the food nears the end of the winding road,
All goodness has gone, it carries no load.

The stuff that’s left must leave somehow,
Out another hole it will go now.
The waste just vanishes with a flush,
I think I’ve mentioned quite enough!

So if you’re baffled by the question:
What on earth could be digestion?
Just take a look at this poem here,
And the answer will be written clear!


Emily Meredith, 9, St Nicholas Primary School 

In the mouth, teeth chew and the tongue lashes round
Secreted Saliva (that’s spit) softens and starts to breakdown,
The food that fuels all of our lives,
Whoooah!  With one swallow down the oesophagus it flies.
Into the stomach, acid and juices more,
Into our chewed up food start to pour,
Muscles churn over the digested soup,
Turning our dinner into a gloop
The small intestine is lined with fingers,
That swish and absorb what they can from our dinners,
It would cover a tennis court if you laid it out flat,
Bile flows in and breaks down the fat.
Next comes the large intestines with lots of bacteria,
Producing more sugar, to make us cheerier.
Lots of fibre here stops congestion,
In this little thing called digestion.
Apples and pears, pizzas and pies,
The food that we eat is the fuel for our lives.
You are what you eat in all species,
When all goes well what is left is faeces...

Lucy Macbeth, 12, Dunottar

Let’s start the process at the mouth
You chew and then the food goes down south
After being chewed and swallowed
The esophagus is quickly hollowed
To lets the enzymes through
And then the stomach at last meets the food
There it gets bathed and churned
Then the small intestine is concerned
More enzymes are produced in the inner wall
Then to the large intestine it falls
Next some water is removed
Then through a lot of columns it zoomed
Finally out it comes but not as food.


Tom Balderson, 14, Cheadle Hulm High School 

To help the process out,
Three enzymes are about,
For turning starch to sugars, amylase is the key,
Is this an example of a carbohydrase I see?
Amino acids are made from protein,
Catalyzed by protease that is made in the small intestine,
If you want to get rid of it all
And make some glycerol,
By taking some lipase,
And using it with amylase
As we move on,
On our way to the colon,
We pass the esophagus,
And through the stomach,
Then we go from the duodenum,
To the ileum,
Winding through the caecum,
And coming out the rectum
The ode to digestion is complete,
Now I can go and eat!