I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure

April is poetry month


April is poetry month.  There are lots of blogs where people have written their own poetry (some on a daily basis!) in celebration of that fact, but this is not one of them.  I’ve never really been great at writing it, so I have tended to steer clear.  My poetry writing standard is something along the lines of –

I’ve never seen a purple cow

I never hope to see one

But I can tell you, anyhow

I’d rather see than be one.

I’ve known The Purple Cow for ever, it seems, and I’ve just done a quick Google search to find out that the author was Gelett Burgess who wrote it in 1895 – you learn something new every day – I thought it was something from the 1960’s and not anything by an ‘official’ poet.  Anyway, that’s about the standard that I could probably manage.

Being unable, or reluctant,  to write poetry doesn’t mean that I don’t like it, in fact I like some of it quite a lot, and enjoy using it in my teaching. I enjoyed some of the poetry we did at school (way back in the olden days), and as long as it had a good story and rhythm with lots of rhyming words, then I enjoyed it.  My particular favourite was The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.  Over the years I have made several attempts to learn it off by heart, but have never managed to get beyond a few verses!  We were doing a lot of poetry work at school recently and so I bought myself a copy of The Nation’s Favourite Poems, and there, at number 2 on the list, is The Lady of Shallott, so it seems I’m not alone in liking it!

The Nation’s Favourite Poems is a great collection and is well worth a look if you get the chance – lots of familiar ones there I expect.  In at number 45 on the list is The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear – that brings back many memories, as does Please Mrs Butler by Allan Ahlberg which is number 40.  The Owl and the Pussycat I remember from childhood days, and Please Mrs Butler I think I first came across when I had started teaching and it makes me smile every time I read it.

It would be good to be able to round off this post with a little ditty, or limerick, that I had composed especially for the occasion but, as that won’t be happening, I will finish with the first verse of The Lady of Shalott:

On either side the river lie

Long fields of barley and of rye

That clothe the wold and meet the sky;

And thro’ the field the road runs by

To many towered Camelot;

And up and down the people go,

Gazing where the lilies blow

Round an island there below;

The island of Shalott

Strong rhythm, lots of rhyming words and the promise of a good story…. perfect.





4 thoughts on “April is poetry month

  1. The Owl and the Pussycat!
    Now THAT brings back memories.
    I had one line to say in my first play at school.
    Think I was the pig.
    I fluffed it.
    Never did another one.

  2. I’m not a big fan of poetry, it must be said – although I won poetry competition run by the local paper when I was about 10, with a poem I wrote about Christmas!

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