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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 of County D…

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...
Walk Through ASeaside Village
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 by the seawall
I felt the ocean spray
The angry, wild waves

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 sort
A childhood filled with rhyming verse
Just makes …

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 activity. A poem about volcanoes for …