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The Poetry of Kit Wright

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Today I want to introduce another English poet, Kit Wright, (born 17 June 1944 in Crockham Hill, Kent). Wright, no relation, is the author of more than twenty-five books, for both adults and children, and the winner of awards including an Arts Council Writers' Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize and (jointly) the Heinemann Award. After a scholarship to Oxford University, he worked as a lecturer in Canada, then returned to England and a position in the Poetry Society. 


His books of poetry include 'The Bear Looked Over the Mountain' (1977), which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award, and 'Short Afternoons' (1989), which won the Hawthornden Prize and was joint winner of the Heinemann Award. His poetry is collected in 'Hoping It Might Be So: Poems 1974-2000' (2000). His latest book of poetry is 'The Magic Box: Poems for Children' (2009). He currently lives in London.


Here are two of my favourite Kit Wright poems. I trust you will enjoy them too.


The Magic Box by Kit Wright.

I will put in the box
the swish of a silk sari on a summer night,
fire from the nostrils of a Chinese dragon, 
the tip of a tongue touching a tooth.
I will put in the box
a snowman with a rumbling belly,
a sip of the bluest water from Lake Lucerne,
a leaping spark from an electric fish.
I will put into the box
three violet wishes spoken in Gujarati,
the last joke of an ancient uncle,
and the first smile of a baby.
I will put into the box
a fifth season and a black sun,
a cowboy on a broomstick
and a witch on a white horse.
My box is fashioned from ice and gold and steel,
with stars on the lid and secrets in the corners.
Its hinges are the toe joints of dinosaurs.
I shall surf in my box
on the great high-rolling breakers of the wild Atlantic,
then wash ashore on a yellow beach
the color of the sun.


Dad and The Cat and The Tree

This morning a cat got
Stuck in our tree. 
Dad said, 'Right, just
Leave it to me.' 
The tree was wobbly, 
The tree was tall. 
Mum said, 'For goodness
sake don’t fall!' 
'Fall?' scoffed Dad, 
'A climber like me? 
Child’s play, this is! 
You wait and see." 
He got out the ladder
From the garden shed. 
It slipped. He landed
In the flower bed. 
'Never mind,' said Dad, 
Brushing the dirt
Off his hair and his face
And his trousers and his shirt, 
'We’ll try Plan B. Stand
Out of the way!' 
Mum said, 'Don’t fall
Again, O.K.?' 
'Fall again?' said Dad. 
'Funny joke!' 
Then he swung himself up
On a branch. It broke. 
Dad landed wallop
Back on the deck. 
Mum said, 'Stop it, 
You’ll break your neck!' 
'Rubbish!' said Dad. 
'Now we’ll try Plan C. 
Easy as winking
To a climber like me!' 
Then he climbed up high
On the garden wall. 
Guess what? 
He didn’t fall! 
He gave a great leap
And he landed flat
In the crook of the tree-trunk —
Right on the cat! 
The cat gave a yell
And sprang to the ground, 
Pleased as Punch to be
Safe and sound. 
So it’s smiling and smirking, 
Smug as can be, 
But poor old Dad’s
Still
Stuck
Up
The
Tree! 



Comments

  1. I'm new to Kit's poetry, thank you for this introduction!

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  2. My pleasure Jane. It's always good to extend the list of known poets.

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  3. These are fun, Kit Wright has an enchanting imagination and I like the lively pace, thanks Alan!

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    Replies
    1. We see Kit Wright's poetry in a similar light, Michelle. It was my pleasure to share a little of his work.

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  4. Both of these poems are delightful! I especially like the first one and enjoyed imagining what I might put in a box. I think it could be a great mentor text for young poets. Kit Wright is new to me--thanks for the introduction!

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    Replies
    1. You're most welcome Molly. So glad you enjoyed this little introduction to the poetry of Kit Wright.

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  5. Thank you so much for this introduction. I like them both, but my funny bone especially appreciates the second one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are frequently touched by a poet's capacity to make us smile, laugh and see the humour in social interactions. Glad you found this introduction to Kit Wright's poetry to your liking Cheriee.

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  6. I like that box. I want one, too. And the dad is very funny. I like that after landing in the flowerbed, you know more accidents will happen, and you begin to anticipate. Adds to the humor immensely, as you feel in on the joke.

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    Replies
    1. When a reader is able to identify with the events being portrayed, the connection is that much stronger. I love the Magic Box, I must admit. I think Kit Wright's vision hear is at its sharpest. Thanks for your feedback Brenda. Always appreciated.

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  7. Sweet and funny poems and a poet I didn't know about. I'll look for more from Kit Wright. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. These poems are just as you describe them Janice -swet and funny. May you find more of the same as you look for more Kit Wright poetry.

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  8. Replies
    1. Such a special poem Myra. I love it too.

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