I wanted to draw in a crisp, clear way – apt to describe nature in detail, but also flexible enough to be spontaneous and inventive. in roars and squalls to grow and spread? Is the poet present at all?… Consider how he or she is there, how the poet is imprinted on the poem.”. We were welcomed to the fantastic, newly re-opened Explore Library York. To finish, here are some more of Ben’s thoughts about illustrating poems. I will bring you a saucer of milk like a marguerite, This is why we often commission leading contemporary artists to create our covers for us and we’ve been thrilled to showcase work by people such as Angela Harding, Celia Hart, Hugh Ribbans and Sarah Young. Soya sweet sweeties It can arouse powerful emotions and readers develop empathy through experiencing, second-hand, what the writer has endured or enjoyed. From street to street he piped advancing, And bare and boomy, Twice or thrice his roundelay, The English writer and Anglican cleric John Donne is considered now to be the preeminent metaphysical poet of his time. And we shall have snow, But before he set out he wrapped his nose To have to go to bed by day? 19th November 2015. That he would like a decent meal, I’m lively Snip! poetry And when the larder’s looted, or the jewel-case is rifled, for a poor fisherman To search for that mysterious land where he should want to stay. The development of language, and its evolution over the last 400 years, is evident when lining up two versions of the same poem – and it’s fascinating. we’ll steer our journey by the stars Cerys Matthews MBE, Welsh singer, songwriter, author and broadcaster says: “I’ve enjoyed celebrating Burns Night over the years and often wanted to celebrate Dylan Thomas in the same way – at last there is a date in the diary for Dylan Day. Open the door! I’m sure — sure — sure; There is every colour in the sun. Replied the angel. He quickly put on Grandma’s clothes, Video glow is there, Breadfruit an coconuts But these women wrote. Lifting his great disc of whiteness, I didn’t mind. With plenty of white about him; and it’s a scare. Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest. The linnet and thrush say, ‘I love and I love!’ Friends bought silver-leaf. Little would have been achieved without her. (Of course he hadn’t eaten those). The early poets came to this new Eden, a virtual paradise where every bird, animal, plant and indigenous peoples were completely unknown to them. Something whispered,—”Snow.” And shall we like domestic, inelegant fowls, And the Goose lend her quill to transmit it to fame! I can’t remember when I first came upon the poetry of William Blake. And saw, within the moonlight in his room, There are rules for taking off your pants After two weeks of making choices, agonising over those choices and then editing, a video emerged. are all the same A list of poems by Christina Rossetti Born in 1830 in London, Christina Rossetti, the author of Goblin Market and Other Poems, is a major Victorian Poet. Poetry by Heart and Qur’anic Memorisation. “’T is true,” says he, “you are far from big.” for the jewels of the world to tumble out, I have a hangnail, and my heart is–what? Pupils could have a paper copy of it too. And a new velvet cap for the Goldfinch’s head. Of elephop and telephong!). how very soon this silly little Fly, Said Wynken, And all alone went she. And away it is terror, at a bad time, There he lay in all his armour; Only the cricket whistling Which words could capture that precise moment of movement? and I was a frog and I was a sprout In this week’s blogpost, Tom Boughen, who is currently helping us add new learning material to the Poetry By Heart website, explores how Shakespeare’s plays were opened up for him by his A Level English teacher and how working on our Shakespeare’s Sonnets Showcase has now introduced him to the sonnets too. Scroll to the bottom and you’ll find a selection of random other poem-tiles to lead you on to new adventures in poetry. And all the Sailors and Admirals cried, He would not stop at home, Far down in the depths below him; Within the historical Muslim community, there have always been those who have demonstrated a remarkable capacity to memorise the Qur’ān. Try any soya dish Seated, standing, walking? “I’ll hum you a hymn, and I’ll sing you a scale, Interestingly, I think participating in the competition has also really improved my students ‘ability’ to respond to poetry in a more exploratory manner, in their written work. Then whistle as shrill as the buzzard cock; W.H.Auden with 10 Year olds? And o’er and o’er the sand, know who I am. No silly hood upon her head. He suggests whispering the lines ’so you get the sounds of the consonants. In this Blog we hear from Greg Freeman one of the judges in the Surrey competition. Our designers are fabulous and everyone on the Poetry By Heart team has a secret Poetry By Heart poem-poster favourite. What is most interesting here is not so much the emotional drama generated by an ill-judged pedagogy, though. The Peacock Imperial, the pride of his race, Poetry By Heart challengers are encouraged to learn their chosen poem by heart and in this way they face many of the challenges that are faced by Actors within the rehearsal process, where they need to understand the text in order to inhabit their character and tell the story of the play through the character’s actions and intentions. This will be a little different from reading the greatest works of English literature, but one of the fantastic things about my degree is that the vast range of texts I’ve read have become as much a part of me as any other experience – and I don’t necessarily need to carry them all with me on my future travels! And wasn’t that a sad disappointment for he! seasons But it’s worth it, to show learners what it looks and sounds like when a reader is making meaning from a text. He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity. Laces for a lady; letters for a spy, Road-rails, pig-lead, ‘The real key is ‘workman-like graft! Give your bones a shake-up The minimum age of 21 means that even the youngest must have some ‘life experience’ before coming to the College for their education. Pre-1914 I’m lazy but I also like to show off my students so I host the night too, inviting a panel of judges made up of local heads, the Editor of the Northern Echo and, last year, Matilda Neil who gave a stunning performance (another advantage of living in the north east.) Therefore, in celebration of National Poetry Day, we ran it as a House competition and involved all year groups. You should not be without: It would be interesting if we could trace the emergence and development of poetic meaning in what Peter Middleton calls “the long biography of the poem(s)” that these women learned during the Covid 19 pandemic. Through moments of intense and close listening to the ‘sound’ of the poem and through a number of recitations both of the poems being studied and their own creative pieces, the meanings of so many poems suddenly came alive and their figurative meanings no longer seemed so ‘impossible’ to comprehend. We were Jekyll and Hyde. What is orange? Tu-whit! The students had personalised the poems, made them their own. sparkling with abandon, hurriedly flies off It is for all of them an extraordinary journey, taking them outside their normal pattern of life and inviting them to develop new skills, to manage new relationships, to do something totally different. Granny is Mr Edwards commented: “Thank you for the lovely opportunity to judge the Poetry by Heart Upper School Heats. Abou spoke more low, Mosquito four, The outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic made us deal with uncertainty, grief and loneliness, and it made us feel anxious, fearful and sad. Inside is a whole universe. During these times of social isolation and unrest, it meant a great deal to join a chorus of women, across the globe, in a form of poetic solidarity. All are required to recite two poems – one pre-1914, and another post-1914 – from an online anthology that you can find here. With such starkly differential access for students to computers and other devices at home now, our approach looks prescient, though of course it wasn’t. . What do you find? Then it’s maggie’s solo stanza and there’s a picture of a shell. When we choose See how the flames are leaping and hissing low, Word for word?’, ‘Yes, seriously. Sailing in the light. What is red? Their popularity is clear evidence of the human connections they’ve made. Early in the evening, Peter performed a memory feat in which he listed the titles of Shakespeare’s plays and narrative poems in chronological order, starting with Henry VI (Parts 2, 3 and 1) and ending with Two Noble Kinsmen. My little horse must think it queer Hudson paints a picture of men at work in the forests to which I relate for all are similar to so many photographs in my family albums. there is no more! But no card had been sent to the pilfering Daw, — January brings the snow, Soya ice-cream, And miles to go before I sleep, On the white sand of the bottom The screech owl’s call, Gold bananas, woven mats, Blynken, He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake; Matilda Neill was the winner that year and I’ve never heard such silence in a room filled with so many people as I did during her recitation of In Memoriam by the poetic giant Michael Longley. Mosquito six, For once, towards the Close of Day, And the Attery Squash, and the Bisky Bat, When he saw the fish rise upward, In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam O mother dear, And wrote Rupert Brooke’s patriotic war poetry and tragic death – from a mosquito bite, rather than in action – set the tone and his 1914 and Other Poems became a runaway bestseller. Both canoe and Hiawatha. To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled, tu-whoo! Those caverns under the sea, James is equally engaged and categorical when discussing how poems should be performed. Pyrenean Ibex, Wake Island Rail, Shells, tails, whiskers and bone, To the north Learn some of Blake’s lines and practise declaiming them? There is no limit to the number of collections you can create, or how long you can keep them – they will be saved and ready as you need them. Then you show your little light, What have you The angel wrote, and vanished. Not over fat Let the slave grinding at the mill, run out into the field: Plantains, wild-thyme, pallid leeks, That they all clapp’d their wings and pronounc’d it divine. There are many different ways of getting started with Poetry By Heart but teachers’ top tip is always to give pupils some encounter with poetry recitation before asking them to give it a go. even if And a Tiger’s nap. And those who have also memorised that particular Qur’anic section are duty bound, if the reciter makes an error at a particular point, to interrupt and recite correctly so enabling the main reciter to correct himself and then continue on. In presenting her with a specially designed trophy the Chair of the judging panel Jean Sprackland praised not only Indigo’s superb recitations but the performances of all 41 county finalists who gathered at the British Library conference centre. Not only did the visit give validation to Poetry by Heart France, but it also felt, in a small way, as if we were building bridges and making connections (through the power of poetry) at a time when links between the UK and Europe seemed to be particularly fraught. Maybe some of these women will treasure the poems (or parts of them) in their hearts for ever, and maybe the emotions inspired by the poems or some meanings will develop over time. And of course it is only at the national finals weekend, the frenzied and exhilarating three days in March, that we really spend any time getting to hear their story of how they approached the challenge, how they learned their poems, what drives them to do so and fundamentally what they have gained from Poetry By Heart. We did not want to launch in to a detailed analysis of whatever Jane Austen was on the specification that year much as we all loved her novels. and Other Poems you Half-Remember from School – the number three poetry bestseller of 2009 – and Poems to Learn by Heart. Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, And what will the children do then, Poor things? Sister river Poetry By Heart’s Poem of the Week is a response to the Covid-19 crisis but it’s also part of the plan we had anyway to create more specific resources for exploring poetry out loud and by heart. There was Lord Cassowary, and General Flamingo, Committing poems to heart helps us to absorb this nourishment even more fully, as we add the poet’s words to our mental furniture. But all of the things that belong to the day I read the poems – silently and out loud, as I hope readers will do – and shuffled the order until it felt… right. Chill December brings the sleet, ‘Tis your bright and tiny spark, When we try to speak it from memory then, our individual voice has found a track of feeling and expression in the verbal landscape of the person who wrote the poem. In his fur the breeze of morning To catch the world's desire; See here, see here; Puri, paratha Its main strength is the pointers it has for each poem, or collection of shorter poems, to encourage a variety of reading and performing strategies such as tongue twisters and riddles; poems to take the voice from soft to loud, or vice versa; poems to read fast and slowly; poems for more than one voice. Wherein all plunged and perished! “Take my bait,” cried Hiawatha, Hark to the song of the sailors on board! Who keep a frog (and, by the way, One of the teachers in The History Boys, Hector, exemplifies an idiosyncratic, highly unsystematic approach to developing the boys’ understanding that places the memorisation and recitation of poetry, especially, at the heart of his method and values. Actors of Dionysus are a registered charity and limited company with almost 25 years of experience producing high quality adaptations of ancient Greek drama and new writing inspired by myth. of a picture. Run home, and do not pause In the exhibition at The Poetry Library there is a whole display case with loose-leaf pages assembled across each other in layers of cut-up colours and words. in ocean sighs I launch my paper boats and look up into the sky and see the little clouds setting their white bulging sails. William Blake appears in The Poetry by Heart timeline for the year 1789 with his poem ‘The Chimney Sweeper’. Looking up at Hiawatha, And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered, How cosy and dozy, One is black with a frill of white, Sing heigh ho! Here at Poetry By Heart Towers, it can occasionally be forgotten in the midst of various and deadly administrative and marketing tasks that come flying our way that it is only the workers at the coal face who make the competition possible. In the end, 29 enthusiastic students took part from 14 different schools in France – and the 2020 competition (version française) had been saved. Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way; Imagine any first line as a photographic frame. We see the importance of children hearing from, working with or watching professional poets. But feel free to adapt this for any poem you like! And it will have been fun! I’d boil along with you About the Author: Jenna Hopkinson is the media officer for Alzheimer’s Society covering the South West of England. After meeting in a recording studio, Sir Andrew Motion (UK Poet Laureate 1999 – 2009) and the recording producer Richard Carrington, agreed how enjoyable and illuminating it is to hear poets reading their work and how regrettable it was that in the twentieth century many important poets had not been properly recorded. Some poets might take umbrage at their art being pawed over like this, but I have never found a better way to show children how poetry works. I began to discover that I was not alone in finding poetry helpful in dark times. Lay the monster Mishe-Nahma, So, all that I have left to say is please watch it! Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen; Poetry is one of the most important branches of literature. There was even (whisper it) something left over for refreshments, a photographer and presents for the judges. One group had absolutely nailed it – and so I was able to ensure that all groups understood that basic narrative and felt secure with it. So he stood in his shoes Mamma had scarcely turn’d her back, At a time when the search for accomplishment, obtaining material outcomes, recognition and productivity seems to be the drive of contemporary societies, it surprised me that none of the 24 women who sent me their recordings ever asked a single question about the purpose or utility of the initiative. 4)      (A) ‘On the Death of Robert Levet’ Samuel Johnson (B) An Ode on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell’ John Dryden. again and again It came again with a great wakening light, I told my secrets to the waves Both men longed to close the vast gap of understanding between the troops at the Front and those left behind in Blighty, and ‘Strange Meeting’ is part of that quest. There’s a place I know inside myself, I swapped poems with friends and became a volunteer at our local prison’s education department where I ran poetry workshops. .Saturday? Parents of one of the competitors on the day mentioned how valuable the videos of previous winners performing had been, telling us that they made the competition and the poetry less daunting. Something funny? I have been making images of London’s streets for several years and have often drawn from observation in areas like Hackney and Camden, or at events like the Notting Hill Carnival. And he said to the Kenozha, Go stepping out, And each tells each We wanted to avoid anything resembling a set text like I avoid red kidney beans after experiencing a severe case of food poisoning from an insufficiently cooked batch of the red devils many years ago. A life upon the bounding wave is just the life for me!” The excitement continued as our 2017 winner was invited by Tim and Julie to attend the British finals in the magical setting of The British Library in April that year. seemed that to chastise her would be indelicate. This article was first published on the Write Out Loud website on February 11th 2016. www.writeoutloud.net/public/index.php, Throughout England secondary school pupils aged 14-18 are standing up to recite in public two poems that they have learned by heart. Even the most inaccessible speech of Hamlet’s appears comprehensible as performers communicate their understanding of the character through the language on the page. Emily has to modulate her speech to accommodate these different oral textures, tones and speeds. The success of the 2015 competition and the positive feedback on the day made it clear to us all that we had to do everything possible to continue the competition each year, and make it a permanent fixture of the school calendar. Melted ghee made lakes, golden rivers. I’d write you a message We’ve found Poetry by Heart to be a hugely positive experience and the competition has become an annual expectation within school, with staff and students eagerly anticipating it. But – as reflection on a particular form of pedagogy – the film also shows the value of ‘living with’ a poem through the repeated readings necessary to internalize, remember and then perform it to a sensitive, engaged audience. I conceived of this helpful figure as mirroring the old woman – perhaps she is a younger version of her. And a want of decorum caus’d many demurs Or if he hung over the top, and tall There may be a scrap of paper in the hall or on the stair – We also publicise the competition more widely and encourage any student, if she so desires, to participate, regardless of whether they are studying English Literature or not. His wrapper of scarlet flannel. Something very similar happens when we are confronted with spellings like ‘kh’, ‘sc’, ‘gn’ and so on – especially when the words most commonly associated with those spellings only arrived into the English language very recently, and so still feel unfamiliar to the native speaker. As I write Georgina and I are preparing to travel down to Homerton College in Cambridge for the regional and national finals, and are looking forward to meeting the other competitors and their school chaperones for what promises to be an experience we will never forget. I am quite sure that he was just as proud and aware of his stippling and hatching lines and marks in the clouds as Lichtenstein was of his enlarged “Ben-Day” dots in the 1960s. The keema frying, my mother waited Listen to poets talk about their writing process; what inspires them, their unique voices, how they work, how they draft, edit and redraft – all this yields a wealth of information to consider the freedoms and support we give children in their own writing. And, in each case, perhaps, the end-result is the stirring image of a human being, often young in years, who has dedicated immeasurable time and energy in order, with beauty and meaning, to recite to others. Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow. over the roof he makes a pause, shine red and gold and white from the sea. Tap-tapping in the wall, But each wild breast stiffened We have initially selected 23 poets and 59 poems. Listen to these tracks to help you or your students master the art of recitation. Among the stakes of Dee.’. O Pussy, my love, You can recite either or both of them. Louisa Tait from Seaford College in West Sussex, the winner of the new Shakespeare sonnet competition for adults, recited sonnet 57 and Eléonore Fontaine the winner of Poetry By Heart France from the Institut Notre Dame also recited. Till you quiver with delight to the tip of your tail!” Run, run! ‘Tootle-too,’ said the flute, You are not the King of Fishes!”, Reeling downward to the bottom You know, the one who broke his head. tu-whoo! Sat the Blackbird, the Thrush, the Lark, and the Linnet. Shakespeare’s sonnets are just fourteen lines in length, so they’re a great place to start. Tittlebat Separate one crystal. And hooked a berry to a thread; His tail only pedalled one side; Wooooooooo! The Quangle Wangle said – Mary Gahan, Teacher involved in the Shadowing Scheme in 2019. So that all the world could hear him. Gillian Clarke’s famous poem about conducting a poetry reading in a hospital captures the moment when a man who has not spoken for many years suddenly recites Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’: The nurses are frozen, alert; the patients unspoken, their creams and yellows still. 'My house-warming party I hope you won't spurn. He added a plume to the Wren’s golden crest, Then the leaves are falling fast. Copies of the poem were surreptitiously distributed at the ends of lessons and on corridors. This is spoken word poetry at its best combining the intimate eye of the writer with the lyrical ear of the musician: the two become one in the mouth of the poet or the actor. Till the water-flags and rushes During each of the five daily times of prayer (salat), for instance, pious Muslims recite passages from the Qur’ān out loud, particularly its opening words (al-Fatihah). The focus of the drama is on the very different teaching styles used to coach a group of boys, from non-privileged backgrounds, at a Northern English grammar school who are trying to get places at Oxbridge. Even so, what unites them is more powerful than what separates them: the poems move women into the public sphere and show that their feelings, views and work have value there. And they began to cry, I personally reject the idea when I’ve seen so much passion from so many young people who are approaching the form for the first time, and are taking the voices of great poets and moulding them in their own style. Because our version of Antigone is a physical show, we began rehearsals in this way. “I’ve got to have a second helping!” Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance? The caves where those animals be. I looked at the email campaign lined up on my screen, ready to blast out our offer of a little support for poetry learning during Covid-19, and I deleted it. Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?”. mee-ow, mee-ow. Except, sadly, one judge who we simply could not get hold of who turned up in the evening. Candlestick’s slimline mini anthologies are designed to be the opposite of daunting – ten poems are neither too many nor too few to offer a satisfying immersion. Whitley Bay High School, a large state comprehensive of over 1600 students in North Tyneside, first took part in Poetry by Heart in 2014 and then again in 2015. Adoration of the Magi. 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