National Poetry Day takes place the first Thursday in October every year in the UK. Each year there is a theme and this year it is MESSAGES. Here is a poem of mine on that theme to give you some inspiration.
To The Great Provider
Dear Great Provider,
This is to thank you
for the delicious cheese
you so thoughtfully provide.
(and I do hope this doesn’t seem ungrateful)
would it be possible to place it
by the side of our hole
and not on the spikes
of the thing that snaps
when we take a bite?
That would be most helpful.
It’s just that,
as you may or may not know,
a member of my family
(my precious daughter to be precise)
has not returned from dining out
and we fear her disappearance
may have something to do
with the fierce snappy thing.
It doesn’t like mice!
(This is not a criticism.
We would sooner pull out our own whiskers
than question your unquestionable wisdom.
We know you move in mysterious ways.)
Once again, Great Provider,
thank you for the wonderful cheese.
Yours humbly and appreciatively,
This poem appears in my book Wanted Alive, copies are available to buy from this site. More information about National Poetry Day is available on the Forward Arts Foundation website.
Illustration by Jessie Gillick from Wanted Alive
The Lightsaber Kid
Open the lid
and out jumps
The Lightsaber Kid.
I want to call
the piece of tubing he uses
a Light Saver.
He calls it a Light Chamber.
He deflects bullets with it.
I made a vid
of him in action.
He liked it.
get back in your box.
So he did
This poem previously appeared on PolaroidBlipfoto.
A Light Verse
This hefty is a light verse
to substantial celebrate National Poetry Day.
I’ve massive included a few weighty words
cumbersome so that it doesn’t millstone float away.
Around 4 a.m.,
heavy rain. I am
not the only one
less my neighbour, a
cross the road, has left
a light on
by mistake. I start
about his electricity
Maybe I should knock
on his door,
ring his bell? Get wet!
Ah, the rain the rain
I’m drifting off again
as keeper of the light,
a lighthouse keeper.
UK’s National Poetry Day, the annual mass celebration of poetry and all things poetical, will mark its 21st birthday on Thursday 8 October 2015.
This year’s theme is LIGHT. Lesson plans and resources can be found on the National Poetry Day website here: http://www.forwardartsfoundation.org/national-poetry-day/resources/lesson-plans/
Here is one from me on that theme.
Light Bulb Moment
it’s a moment
alive with electricity
in your brain
It was on the news – more poetry is needed!
I am very pleased to be visiting a school in East Yorkshire on World Book Day and some Manchester schools for the rest of the week, but I had so many enquiries for World Book Day week that I had to turn bookings down. Frustrating for me and the schools concerned.
It made me think to write a blog post to say that poetry is not just for World Book Day (March 5th) nor just for World Poetry Day (March 21st), not even just for National Poetry Day (October 8th). I’d be more than happy to visit your school any day of the year (during term time, of course!).
Consider the benefits:
- You’ll be getting ‘a real live poet’ – a specialist who knows his craft (and plays guitar!).
- Someone who can generate a sense of fun with words.
- Someone who can motivate even reluctant writers to write and give them the confidence to stand up at the end of the workshop and perform a new poem they can be proud of.
It’s not just me that thinks poetry should have a place in schools all year round. Elena Aquilar makes a good case in this blog post: “Five Reasons Why we Need Poetry in Schools”. She says “Poetry promotes literacy, builds community, and fosters emotional resilience. It can cross boundaries that little else can.” Read more
And the following benefits of reading poetry for older students are given in a blog post on synonym.com:
- Improves Verbal Skills and Memory
- Improves Critical Thinking
- Develops Empathy and Insight
- Encourages Engagement with other Art forms
So if you are a teacher looking for ideas for World Book Day, I hope you come away with the idea you could do the same kinds of activities on other days too.
It’s a tough job being a poet.
I’m surprised it’s not better paid.
Perhaps there should be guided tours of workshops
so non-poets can see how poems are made?
There’s no respite if you’re a poet.
You’re working all the time.
You have to get on it if there’s a call for a sonnet.
And people expect you to rhyme.
It’s more demanding than being a surgeon.
It’s harder than digging a road.
We deserve much longer holidays than teachers.
It can be stressful writing an ode.
We sometimes work until lunchtime
if we need to complete a quatrain.
Yes, it’s a tough job being a poet
but you’ll never hear us complain.
Remember a poet can be an enthusiastic inspiring addition to your classroom all year round, not just for National Poetry Day. If you’d like to know what I can do in your school, please contact me.
I’ve recorded a poem today and Karen has turned it into a video. Hope you like it. Please share and don’t forget National Poetry Day on Thursday 2nd October.
I’ve posted some other reminders and resources for National Poetry Day already, but here’s video that may inspire ideas and discussion.
Remember by Christina Rossetti