Skip to main content

The Poetry of Kit Wright

Image result for kit wright death

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


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

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

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

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

  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!

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

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

    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.

  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.

    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.

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

    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.


Post a comment

Popular posts from this blog

Opposite Poems

Opposite Poems

In his book, 'How To Write Poetry,' Paul Janeczko presents the idea of opposite poems. Paul suggests they could also be referred to as antonym poems. This is wordplay and it's fun to try.

Here are some examples Paul provides to help us see very clearly how these short little poems work.

I think the opposite of chair
Is sitting down with nothing there

What is the opposite of kind? A goat that butts you from behind
Paul Janeczko

You will  notice the poems are written in rhyming couplets. They can be extended so long as you remember to write in couplets. Paul shows us how this is done.

What is the opposite of new?
Stale gum that's hard to chew
A hot-dog roll as hard as rock
Or a soiled and smelly forgotten sock

You might notice that some of Paul's opposite Poems begin with a question. The remainder of the poem answer the question posed.

Opposite poems are a challenge, but it is a challenge worth trying. Not every thing has an opposite and not every word has an easy t…

Poetry Friday: The Safety Pin Poem

Poets not only write poetry, they also read poetry. In order to be able to write poetry, one must read it. Lots of poetry in fact... 

I want to share a short little poem by Valerie Worth. I bought Valerie's book, 'All The Small Poems And Fourteen More,' while living and working in New York, some time back. It remains a personal favourite. 

I love the way the poet shines a special light on everyday objects, transforming them into something unique and worthy of attention. Her close observations elevate her poems into the special category. 

Each poem in the collection celebrates earthly wonders. From eggs to garbage, from potatoes to pockets, each object is given special attention in the form of short poems employing keen observations. 

Valerie Worth demonstrates through her poems she totally understands the saying-'ideas exist in things.' 

The poem I have chosen to share with you (one of my personal favourites) is titled, 'Safety Pin'.

Safety Pin
Closed, it sleeps On…

Life Cycle -A football poem by Bruce Dawe

This poem by Australian poet Bruce Dawe epitomises the unique connection sporting tragics have to their preferred football teams, -an almost tribal allegiance. Each season supporters stare down the twin imposters- victory and defeat. They remain both loyal and hopeful of eventual triumph. This poem refers specifically to Australian Rules Football, but it's themes are universal.
I share this poem on the eve of the 2017 Grand Final to decide the Premiership for this football season. My team, the Richmond Tigers have reached the play off to decide the ultimate victor. They have not contested the Grand Final match for 35 years. My hopes fly with them. This poem links two of my great loves -football and poetry...

Life Cycle
When children are born in Victoria
they are wrapped in club-colours, laid in beribboned cots,
having already begun a lifetime’s barracking.
Carn, they cry, Carn … feebly at first
while parents playfully tussle with them
for possession of a rusk: Ah, he’s a little Tiger! (An…