I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure

April is poetry month

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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.

 

 

 

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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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