Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday 4th October 2012 is National Poetry Day.

This years theme is STARS for the poetry entries and of course the inspiration for this is everyone’s all time childhood rhyme

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

How I wonder what you are (1806)

by Jane Taylor

Poetry is as old as the hills and so one day in the year has been dedicated to celebrating an art that people no longer take time out to appreciate anymore.

I myself, have very few poetry books and have taken a long break from writing poetry to concentrate on my prose. But that doesn’t mean I don’t read a good poem when I find one.

Here are some of my favorites since childhood. I have to thank my academic learning for introducing me to many of these poems and poets, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these bring back sweet or harrowing memories for you. It could easily be like that moment in the short film Blackadder: Back & Forth where Blackadder very rightly speaks the minds of every child in England after he punches Shakespeare:

Blackadder: [punches Shakespeare] That is for every schoolboy and schoolgirl for the next 400 years. Have you any idea how much suffering you’re going to cause? Hours spent at school desks trying to find *one* joke in “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”, wearing stupid tights in school plays and saying things like, “What ho, my Lord,” and, “Oh, look, here comes Othello talking total crap as usual.”

Here’s a link to the video. If you’ve been through the learning experience, you really will LOL 😀

O.k, let’s get back on track: Here a the few that I can remember off of the top of my head:

London

BY WILLIAM BLAKE (1757–1827)

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
*
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear
*
How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every blackning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldiers sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls
*
But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse
*
*

A Poison Tree

BY WILLIAM BLAKE

I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
*
And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
*
And it grew both day and night.
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine.
*
And into my garden stole,
When the night had veild the pole;
In the morning glad I see;
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
*
*
***Absolutely LOVE the poem below***
*
*

We Are Seven

BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770–1850)

———A simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?
*
I met a little cottage Girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.
*
She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
—Her beauty made me glad.
*
“Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
How many may you be?”
“How many? Seven in all,” she said,
And wondering looked at me.
*
“And where are they? I pray you tell.”
She answered, “Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.
*
“Two of us in the church-yard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the church-yard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother.”
*
“You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven! I pray you tell,
Sweet Maid, how this may be.”
*
Then did the little Maid reply,
“Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree.”
*
“You run about, my little Maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the church-yard laid,
Then ye are only five.”
*
“Their graves are green, they may be seen,”
The little Maid replied,
“Twelve steps or more from my mother’s door,
And they are side by side.
*
“My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.
*
“And often after sun-set, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.
*
“The first that dies was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.
*
“So in the church-yard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.
*
“And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side.”
*
“How many are you, then,” said I,
“If they two are in heaven?”
Quick was the little Maid’s reply,
“O Master! we are seven.”
*
“But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!”
’Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said, “Nay, we are seven!”
***
***

The Tim Burton also wrote and published a short poetry collection titled: The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy. You can read all 23 poems online through this link. Don’t let the tittle put you off. It definitely isn’t a collection of poems filled with rainbows and hearts, but it has dark humour (and there are LOL moments) but it is all eye-opening and thought provoking as well. (As are most of poems I have listed in this post!). Here is a taster below:

***

***

***

Tim Burton’s Robot Boy

Mr. an Mrs. Smith had a wonderful life.
They were a normal, happy husband and wife.
One day they got news that made Mr. Smith glad.
Mrs. Smith would would be a mom
which would make him the dad!
But something was wrong with their bundle of joy.
It wasn’t human at all,
it was a robot boy!

The Tea Party

The Tea Party

And a great childhood favourite of mine are those of Charles Dodgson (1832-1898) a.k.a Lewis Carroll, most famously known for his novella Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865).

The Lobster
Lewis Carroll

’Tis the voice of the Lobster; I heard him declare,
‘You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.’
As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose
Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.

When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark,
And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark,
But, when the tide rises and sharks are around,
His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.

The Bat
Lewis Carroll

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly
Like a tea-tray in the sky.

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat
How I wonder what you’re at!

***

If you’ve never read a poem, then at least check out the Tim Burton poems. Poetry lover or not, you will enjoy reading them.

You can check out the Facebook and twitter page for The National Poetry day 2012.

Advertisements