Friday, 3 October 2014

Happy (belated) Poetry Day!

I actually wrote the majority of this post yesterday, but technology decided it was not to be, and refused to let me finish it. But never mind! It's here now!

In case you didn't know (and I didn't until I was kindly informed by Twitter!) yesterday was National Poetry Day!

Thanks Twitter! You're the best!
(I'm especially loving that Ogden Nash poem in the middle there)

Though the whole 'national' part of that is probably referring to the USA rather than the humble old UK, there's no reason why I shouldn't jump on the proverbial bandwagon and join in the celebration of poetry.

My mum is a huge fan of poetry and is even a moderator on some poetry site somewhere on the interwebs (sorry, I can't remember what the site is called!). So she's read loads of poetry, but I feel like I lag feebly behind in this department. I remember quite liking some of the poems I studied at GCSE (yonks ago now!), but since then I haven't really picked up any poetry. At all.

I know. Shameful, right?

But I have actually read a couple of poems since my school days, namely these ones: 

"So bored right now"

Well, actually I haven't read anything from this book yet (oops...), but it is a collection of poems by a German author that I'm studying this term as part of my uni course. I read some of them in my first year (such a long time ago now *sob*) as part of my German romantic poetry class and I really loved them so I'm hoping I'll find some that I like in this collection.

Here's a random page...

The next poem is one that I actually heard of from The Simpsons (shows how cultured I am...), and it's The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. This poem is really well known but I honestly think it's a great place to start with poetry (not that I'm any sort of expert!). The imagery is really powerful and the emotions are really vivid, plus it's super creepy. What's not to love?

The end of the poem has especially stuck with me. It's just so brilliant!

These next two are ones that I don't own copies of but that can be found easily online. They are Not Waving but Drowning, by Stevie Smith (found on the Poetry Foundation website)...

I studied this briefly in secondary school and it's stuck with me ever since.

...and Howl, by Allen Ginsberg (found at

Thanks to Black, White & Read Books for inspiring me to read this one (and, of course, the ever-lovely Gilmore Girls!)

And finally, here is video to illustrate this last poem. The poem is This is the Night Mail by W.H. Auden, and it definitely benefits from being heard rather than read. The rhythm fits perfectly with the chugging and clattering of the train. In fact, it was written for the purpose of being read along to this video montage (I think it was the opening of a documentary...?). My mum introduced this to my younger brother when he was little, and he LOVED it! To be honest, it's easy to see why. Definitely a great way to get children into poetry!

So that's it! That's my contribution to the appreciation of the beautiful art form that is poetry. Sorry this is a day late! (Not my fault, I promise!) 

I'll leave you with this lovely shot of people's contributions on Twitter. I think the 4th one down is my fave. What's yours?

Happy poetry day! Had you heard of any of the poems on my list? Do you have any suggestions of ways to get more into poetry? What's your favourite poem? Let me know in the comments.


  1. Oh dear I remember seeing it on Twitter too - and yet I missed it anyway. :-( I did National Poetry MONTH last April, but school got in the way when it came to the DAY.

    How I love Ogden Nash! That poem is fantastic.

    1. Hi Sophia! Thanks for your comment :) I think poetry can and should be celebrated any day we feel like it.. Let's break free from the boundaries of society ;) I hope school is going well for you and that you're finding time to enjoy yourself!

      Haha yes! I love that poem too! Such brilliance :')


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