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Showing posts from March, 2019

Poetry Friday 'Storm On The Island' Seamus Heaney

Given the fact that we recently celebrated St Patrick's Day, it seems appropriate that I take this opportunity to continue the Irish focus and recognize one of Ireland's leading literary figures... Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry in Northern Ireland in 1939 and died in 2013. He became a multi award winning poet. His first collection of poems, 'Death of a Naturalist' appeared in 1966 and helped to establish Heaney as one of the major poets of the 20th century. From that first anthology, I have chosen 'Storm On The Island.' This poem tells us about the stoic resistance of people and structures to an incoming storm. The island is not named. Poetic scholars believe this is a poem that can be taken literally, as a monologue on the life and attitude of island people facing a storm, or it can be understood as a  metaphor of political struggle on the island of Ireland. Heaney knew both worlds.  The poems of this first collection are grounded in the soil

Friday Poetry: A Walk Through A Seaside Village POEM

Opportunities to make poetry exist all around us. We must practice being alert to possibility. As a committed traveller, wanderer and explorer, I find ideas in local settings as well as more far flung, some might say, exotic places as well.  This poem found its origins in a morning walk in Ireland a few years back. I rediscovered it this week and have given it a bit of a polish and a dusting off. Please join me, and a wandering we will go... A  W alk  T hrough  A   S easide  V illage Breakfast failed to fire The start of a brand new day Just cindered toast And hard-boiled egg To set me on my way Wandered down the main street The shops were mostly shuttered Birds on rooftops Sat in silent lines A single pigeon fluttered Passed a man With a bristled broom His doorway keenly clearing I offered him my morning smile But he was not for cheering Circled round a tree-lined park As a couple did Tai Chi A lean and hungry mutt took time To bark and snarl at me I wandered

Poetry Friday - No Rhyme Poem

Wordplay presents as a strong  element in my poetry. I recognize it and readily embrace it. So the following poem is grounded in the tradition of playing with words. I have a natural tendency to slide into rhyme. It sings strongly in my sometimes muddled mind. This poem gently pushes back on my rhyming predilection by employing synonyms to deny the rhyme. I feel like I'm telling rhyme to talk to the hand on this occasion.  In the process, it was fun playing with words, as one might expect.  As I say in the poem, don't get me wrong, I enjoy rhyme. I hear it constantly as I negotiate my day. Poetry exists in everyday talk. Often it goes unnoticed. Personally, I note it while quietly enjoying its presence. I even have my own rhyming dictionary... No Rhyme This Time Occasion I’m trying to stop this poem  from rhyming But I find my anxiety is steadily climbing increasing Words keep forming in my mind You know the ones The usual rhyming kind so

IDEAS For World Poetry Day

It's World Poetry Day, on 21 March. This day recognises the unique ability of poetry to capture the very essence of humanity.  In every culture there are poets who feed the soul of their nation and present as advocates for the arts.  For those of you not yet completely comfortable teaching poetry, or for those looking to freshen up their current poetry resources, Here are some possibilities to explore.  Poetry Ideas Across the Curriculum • Invite students to organize a collection of poems relating to their own culture. You could organize them around such categories as celebrations, families, food, holidays. • Collect photo essays, newspaper and magazine articles, informational books, and historical fiction and invite students to use them as source material for poetry • Make weather poems using weather reports as the basis for ideas. • Encourage students to tell their own stories/experiences in poetic form • Use a science activity to launch a poetry writing