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Showing posts from April, 2018

A Focus On Anthologies

I have been fortunate enough to publish two anthologies of poems. The poems I wrote were randomly included with no conscious connection to one another -apart from the fact that they were all a joy to write.  Sometimes though poets create anthologies where the poems are connected by a common theme. The anthology is created quite deliberately to explore these related ideas. Douglas Florian, an American poet, is very accomplished at establishing connections in this way. So many of his anthologies explore themes.

Below are some examples of these books. You will notice how Douglas brings his poems together around common themes -trees, marine creatures insects, the solar system. These books are part of my ever expanding poetry collection. Douglas Florian is not just a prolific and accomplished poet, he is always a great illustrator and painter. He remains a particularly fine exponent of list poems. The poetry of Douglas Florian comes highly recommended.

 Poetry can be presented around almost …

Where's The Poetry Section?

When I enter a bookstore, I am always keen to seek out possible poetry titles, awaiting discovery on the shelves. In particular, I am looking for poetry titles suitable for children. Often though, I leave the shop somewhat disconsolate. Unfortunately, there seems to be a general lack of poetry for kids on display. It may be published, but that doesn't guarantee you will encounter it in the majority of bookshops.

Frequently what you are offered are the same few collections of 'classic poems for children' and little else. Very few bookshops I enter have a dedicated space for children's poetry. The few shops that do, fill me with a sense of exultation. It's akin to chancing upon rare treasure. more power to these fearless bookshop owners, I say. They deserve our custom.

I find this paucity of poetry titles very sad indeed. Not just because I write poetry, but because I believe every generation of children deserve access to poetry. 

At present, it remains mostly hidden fr…

A Spike In The Level Of Nonsense

Terence Alan Milligan, known as 'Spike' (1918-2002) dedicated his life to making people laugh, through his performances on radio and television, through his poems and memoirs, and often just by being himself. A BBC poll in 1999 voted Spike 'The funniest person of the last 1,000 years.' -That's some accolade. Spike was the chief creator and writer of the famous Goon Show, a British radio comedy programme, performed from 1951 to 1960. The cast also included, Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine.

Spike revelled in funny poems. He was influenced by Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll, two famous English poets of the past who also loved extravagant wordplay and nonsensical stories. 
His verse was considered to be within the genre of literary nonsense. His most famous poem, On the Ning Nang Nong, was voted the UK's favourite comic poem in 1998 in a nationwide poll, ahead of other nonsense poets including Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear. It remains a favourite, and …