Welcome to the poetry section of our website !
National Poetry Day 2017
National Poetry Day took place on Thursday 28th September and this year’s theme was “Freedom”.
National Poetry Day is an annual celebration that inspires people throughout the UK to enjoy, discover and share poems. Everyone is invited to join in, whether by organising events, displays, competitions or by simply posting favourite lines of poetry on social media using #nationalpoetryday.
National Poetry Day was founded in 1994 by the charity Forward Arts Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate excellence in poetry and increase its audience. The Day enjoys the support of the BBC, Arts Council England, the Royal Mail and leading literary and cultural organisations, alongside booksellers, publishers, libraries and schools.
‘Cosmic Disco’ by Grace Nichols
Award-winning Grace Nichols creates all the moods evoked by the title in this beautiful anthology.
In poems such as ‘Sun, You’re a Star’, Nichols gives her own account of the universe. In a sequence of poems about the seasons, including ‘Sir Autumn’ and ‘Lady Winter’s Rap’, Nichols paints the world freshly for her readers.
Every poem is a delight in itself – while together they give readers a newly painted world.
‘Cosmic Disco’ was published in 2013 and is illustrated by Caroline Binch.
‘A Telescope Called Hubble’ by Grace Nichols (p62)
is hurtling through
the deep velvet of space
a telescope called Hubble
is taking the trouble
to beam back a dream-scape of shapes
making us gasp and gape
of turquoise and emerald
planets of topaz
the Milky Way’s
the endless El Dorado
of stars stars stars
A satellite shark called Hubble
is taking the trouble
to snap up all the jewels
in the ocean of a vast celestial bubble.
‘Poetry Pie’ by Liverpool’s Roger McGough
Roger McGough taught at St.Kevin’s Comp in Kirby and was a lecturer at Mabel Fletcher College. He presents ‘Poetry Please’ on BBC Radio 4.
This collection has over 50 poems. From pies to pandas, from school to scarecrows, this is a wonderfully funny and often thought-provoking collection. It’s full to bursting with sharply observed poems, rhymes and riddles.
The collection was published in October of 2015 and includes many of the poet’s own line drawings. For age 7+.
‘Toothy Grin’ by Roger McGough (p68)
There’s a girl in our class called Lola
Who drinks nothing but sweet fizzy cola
‘Though I’m certain to burst
I’ve still got a thirst
And I’m left with only one molar.’
‘I Wish I Had a Pirate Hat’ by Roger Stevens
Described by www.lovereading4kids.co.uk as ‘poems to chase the clouds away’, the book is split into three sections:
Fun Time, School Time & Home Time.
The subjects will all be familiar to little children but the poetry makes them special.
Look out for Billy, who is impervious to teacher’s fairy dust:
‘She sprinkles it on naughty boys / It stops them being silly / And helps them work, and sit up straight / It doesn’t work on Billy !’
For age 5 years+…….but could be read to younger children.
‘Big Numbers’ by Roger Stevens (p55)
One for the ladybird in her coat of black and red
Ten for the centipedes living in the shed
Fifty for the pea bugs underneath the mat
One hundred for the flies flying round the cowpat
One thousand for the worker ants working on the ground
One million for the tiny creatures living all around
‘Things You Find in a Poet’s Beard’ by A.F. Harrold
‘Things You Find in a Poet’s Beard’ is a collection of poems that have been shouted at children from schools to church halls, silly tales that have been illustrated joyously by former Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell – and bound into a book.
Children might want to entertain the family by reading them out; perhaps they’ll want to chuckle at them under the covers with a torch; perhaps they’ll want to stare at the pictures drawn by Mr Chris Riddell – or maybe they’ll want to shout them aloud to capture the spirit of the poet, A.F. Harrold himself.
A.F. Harrold is a poet who writes and performs for both adults and children. He has also written a number of children’s books, including the ‘Fizzlebert Stump’ series.
‘Questions, Questions’ by A.F. Harrold (p33)
How d’you fit a genie in a bottle ?
How d’you fit a world inside a book ?
How d’you fit the sun into the summer ?
How d’you fit a mountain in one look ?
How d’you fit an oak inside an acorn ?
How d’you fit the wind under a kite ?
How d’you fit your sweetheart in a locket ?
How d’you fit the dark into the night ?
‘Moon Juice’ by Kate Wakeling
Kate Wakeling’s first book of poems for children is full of curious characters and strange situations. The poems are always musical, sometimes magical, and full of wonder at the weirdness of the world.
In this brilliant book, you’ll meet Skig, who’s meant to be a warrior – but is really more of a worrier. You’ll meet a giddy comet skidding across the sky with her tail on fire. And you’ll put a marvellous new machine in your pocket and maybe you’ll be able to fix all of life’s problems.
The poems are illustrated by Elina Braslina.
CLiPPA is the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award. Kate Wakeling won the 2017 CLiPPA award for children’s poetry for ‘Moon Juice’ (her debut collection), published by independent publisher The Emma Press.
‘Rich Pickings’ by Kate Wakeling (p21)
A scab’s your own personal pie crust,
its insides cooked up nice and pink.
Make sure not to fiddle before it is done:
an itch tells you it’s on the brink.
Yes, a scab’s your own personal pie crust,
and I favour a filling of knee.
But don’t think that this morsel’s for sharing:
this pie crust belongs just to me.
‘Excuses, Excuses: Poems About School’ chosen by John Foster
This is a favourite and best-selling collection of poems about school, compiled by John Foster.
Most the poems here are humorous, but some are more serious and will make you think. Many of them have been written specially for this collection and, together with other poems by such well-known children’s poets as Michael Rosen, Kit Wright, and Spike Milligan, go to make up a lively and engaging anthology.
Published in 2009 and for age 9+.
‘Grammar’ by Michael Rosen (p78)
The teacher said:
A noun is a naming word.
What is the naming word in the sentence:
‘He named the ship Lusitania’ ?
‘Named,’ said George.
Wrong, it’s ‘ship’.
Oh, said George.
The teacher said:
A verb is a doing word.
What is the doing word in this sentence:
‘I like doing homework’ ?
‘Doing,’ said George.
Wrong, it’s ‘like’.
Oh, said George.
The teacher said:
An adjective is a describing word.
What is the describing word in this sentence:
‘Describing sunsets is boring’ ?
‘Describing,’ said George.
Wrong, it’s ‘boring’.
I know it is, said George.
‘I Don’t Like Poetry’ by Joshua Seigal
What do you mean you don’t like poetry ? This must mean you’ve not read the debut collection of poems from Joshua Seigal ! Whether it’s poems about the power of books or the joys of fried chicken, once you’ve read Joshua’s poems you’ll be shouting from the rooftops that poetry is the place to be!
Packed with subversive humour and a real insight into the world of children today, I Don’t Like Poetry will please the most reluctant of poem readers – whether they want something funny, sad or scary. It is a wonderful collection that shows a new poet at his best.
Published on 8/9/16 and for age 7+.
‘The Day the Poet Came’ by Joshua Seigal (1st verse – p68)
The windows burped,
the hamsters flew,
the walls spun round,
the grass turned blue,
things happened that
we never knew
the day the poet came.