National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day

“If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone.”

 Thomas Hardy ~ Poet.

Thomas Hardy observed that ideas and thoughts expressed through poetry seemed to garner more acceptance and tolerance than when said in normal prose.

This is just one reason of many why poetry is so important and loved throughout the world, and as tomorrow is National Poetry Day, the Listening Books team are sharing some of their favourite poems with you to get you in the mood…

 

Jo’s fondly remembered childhood poem:

I Don’t Want To Go Into School – Colin McNaughton

I don’t want to go into school today; Mum,
I don’t feel like school work today.
Oh, don’t make me go to school today, Mum
Oh, please let me stay home and play.

But you must go to school, my cherub, my lamb,
If you don’t it will be a disaster,
How would they manage without you, my sweet,
After all you are the headmaster!

 

From a modern poet, recommended by Amy:

An extract from I Musn’t Go Down To The Sea Again – John Cooper-Clarke

Choppy waves, rough sea, lighthousesunken yachtsmen
sinking yards
drunken Scotsmen
drinking hard
every lunatic and his friend
i mustn’t go down to the sea again

the ocean drags
its drowning men
emotions flag
me down again
tell tracy babs and gwen
i mustn’t go down to the sea again

the rain whips
the promenade
it drips on chips
they turn to lard
i’d send a card if i had a pen
i mustn’t go down to the sea again

 

Claire’s favourite poem:

Sonnet 116 – Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

 

Holly’s childhood school poem: 

(We used to read it very regularly as a class when I was about 9 – I can still picture us chanting away now.)
An extract from The Trouble with My Brother – Brian Patten

Scared cat cartoonThomas was only three
And though he was not fat
We knew that there was something wrong
When he ate the cat.

Nibble, nibble, munch, munch,
Nibble, nibble, munch,
Nibble, nibble, munch, munch,
He had the cat for lunch!

He ate a lump of coal,
He ate a candlestick,
And when he ate a tortoise
Mother felt quite sick.

Nibble, nibble, munch, munch,
Nibble, nibble, munch,
Nibble, nibble, munch, munch,
A tortoise for lunch!

 

One from Jo’s favourite poet:

i thank You God for most this amazing – E. E. Cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

 

A poem that Amy likes (even though it’s sad):

Piano – D. H. Lawrence

Sketch of piano keysSoftly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

 

Zoe’s favourite poem: 

Remember – Christina Rossetti:

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Speak Like a Poet Act Like a Poet

We hope you’ve enjoyed these poems! What do you like about poetry? And do you have a favourite poem?

If you’d like to listen to some poetry, Listening Books has many poetry collections for members, from books by Gillian Clarke and Benjamin Zephaniah, to anthologies of Britain’s best loved poems. You can also search for more in our library and see what you discover.

To find out more about National Poetry Day you can head over to their website where you’ll find downloads and events, or follow them on twitter.

Live Like a Poet

Written by Holly Newson

Picture credit: Ian Britton, Christine Atienza

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