When I was teaching English in a sixth form college I was relentlessly teased by my departmental colleagues for decrying the absence of Wordsworth on Awarding Bodies’ specifications. With a Leopard’s yawn And the Goose lend her quill to transmit it to fame! And what will the dormouse do then, Poor thing? We’re really delighted to be supporting Poetry By Heart, particularly at this extraordinary time. To have to go to bed by day? and that’s where she stopped at last, slightly imbedded. And caught our little Suck-a-Thumb. And he said to the Kenozha, haldi, heaped like powder-paints. Others find hidden depths of talent in themselves and stay to the very end. You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in. Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow. Twinkle, twinkle, all the night. scary Had ensnar’d all the youth of the fins in her toils, You can see her recitation here: http://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poems/sir-gawain-and-the-green-knight/ Comparing these two magnificent middle English alliterative poems would encourage the appreciation of sound effects and the texture of words and would really draw attention to the acoustic quality of verse. The posters have gradually become both more beautiful and more removed from the modest pedagogical ambition of those redactions. On achieving hifz, there will be family and mosque celebrations for the Muslim boy or girl (or man or woman, for there is no age limit). But I shall name you the fishermen three: To where my toy vessels lie safe in the bay. Now! To catch the world's desire; She had good cause to fear: The most effective way, I’d argue, is to perform a play or a poem by learning the words by heart. Where nobody else can be, Even so, just by mentioning it a couple of times on Twitter and in our regular newsletter, we’re already heading for triple figures a couple of weeks on and, with the lockdown beginning to ease a little, it’s time to introduce it properly. The visual language of the panel to panel transitions made me think of the transitions from line to line in poetry – how much is left unsaid, in both, for the reader to complete for themselves. The juice spurted out, bright crimson, She would be looking for deliveries that were not too dramatic, she said. At the start of the Battle of Loos, torrential rains flooded the trenches, and Graves’ poem calls to mind the conditions of the war, as well as the weather that Sorley loved so well in life. But Learning and reciting poetry to oneself also has the power to soothe and console; and verse lends dignity to emotion. I speak only for myself, not on behalf of the competition, not on behalf of my employer. Mike Dixon paid tribute to the “passion, support and determination” of teachers who had organised recitation contests in their schools: “I’d like to thank all the teachers in this room today for engaging in this process.”. Before coming to University, she took two gap years, which included a self-funded 6 months of travel to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Babies laugh though, coo and smile, At others I have laughed. When I was very unwell, I could only absorb the odd line, which I would focus all my attention on, stilling the anxious chatter in my head. Had once as many as we; To do such a thing, when I’m quite well aware My solution was to have a poetry starter involving some memorisation. In 2015 we wanted to extend Poetry by Heart and encourage more of our students to take part. know who I am. Books have we to read, but that half-stifled knell, Till you quiver with delight to the tip of your tail!” There are rules for biting bullies To Rat-land home his commentary: Another favourite is almost any line from Emily Dickinson’s ‘“Hope” is the Thing with Feathers’ in which the poet compares hope to a bird. I’ll look at the verse structure, the rhythm, assonance, alliteration – all those things that the poet will have used.’ He also says it’s important to ‘discover what your own personal, individual emotional connection to the poem is. I studied the First World War in class, like generations of school children since that cataclysm. Wooooooooo! I tell pupils I’m going to read it aloud 3 times and I invite them to join in when they’re ready. Tap-tapping in the wall, Chrissy Williams, my co-curator on this exhibition, is also a poet who has published a number of publications which combine poetry and sequential art, including The Jam Trap (Soaring Penguin Press, 2012) and Angela (Sidekick Book, 2013). From poetry and memory research, the idea that the parts of the brain that respond to a poem are the same parts of the brain that respond to a friend – hang out together long enough, doing something, and the poem-friendship deepens. Someone came knocking, Pigeons with their scarlet beaks, My mouth is wet, my throat is dry, In the summer twilight. To Colonel Fazak that the spectre was there. So that nobody ever could see the face But the little Blue Devil said “No!” And that life on the whole is far from gay!" On the broad green leaves of the Crumpetty Tree, Without ruffling a plume in the national strife; I have to go to bed by day. What have you My neck is stiff, my voice is weak, It involves thinking about how to make that tangible for someone else, in a visual form. About the Author: Jane Branson is an independent learning consultant in East Sussex. Sat a big Dormouse all in a heap. Whose face has never seen a smile in thirty weary years; into perpetual swirls Poetry by Heart book. But there came to the Crumpetty Tree, I couldn’t agree more. Of a glove, There was a naughty boy Candlestick’s assistant editor Kathy Towers reflects here on the unique approach of the independent poetry publisher and notices some common themes with Poetry By Heart. By learning verse by heart, I felt able to demonstrate greater expansiveness; at any moment, I could ‘piggyback’ on articulations that ‘said it’ better than I ever could. Through wood, and through vale; and o’er rocky height, I read the poems – silently and out loud, as I hope readers will do – and shuffled the order until it felt… right. There are other poems by Owen that are perhaps better known – ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ among them – but this was the one that had spoken so clearly to me I never forgot it. And tell us all about your brother – Is the wee one’s trundle-bed. They danced by the light of the moon. Our old cat has kittens three — In the Thinking Room There may be a great deal of colour present [in a poem being performed], but it should be the colours of the poem’s words interacting with the colours of the reader’s personality. Then, going from group to group, I picked up their sheets and read what they’d got to the rest of the class. Like a white moon in the water, Were pouring in on every hand, Georgina commented, “I can’t really spell and I’m not very good at it but I really like poetry”. All upside-down, and try to doze. The significance of deep exploration and the performance of poetry which CLiPPA highly promotes enabled my class to connect with the poems they studied, to understand the emotion in the poetry, and allowed them to take themselves to that destination – become that character (or in our winning performance’s case become ‘Old Foxy’).”. Or crafty Mermaids stole them away - Played as in the prairie grasses. I show them the structure of the poem using a slide deck of 6 pictures. Into a cider-press’s gripe: In particular, I thought of Van Der Weyden’s ‘The Descent From The Cross’, a painting I had drawn from at the Prado Museum in Madrid, in which a group of mourning figures supports Christ’s body as it falls. Spool forward to the twentieth century and by 1969 the Association of Poetry Therapy was established in the USA. To charm our souls, as thou enchant’st our ears. With the Quangle Wangle Quee. A ruby red as blood; The old King of Dorchester, The challenge of learning drama and poetry texts has struck me lately as our theatre company Actors of Dionysus, has just finished touring with a contemporary version of Antigone which is re-imagined in a futuristic, dystopian landscape. This was Georgina Watkiss, who then went on to represent Ripon Grammar School at the county contest which was held in York on National Libraries Day last month. And cracked the branches, and strewn them about; In the picture above we have a relatively tame example of one of Blake’s illuminated pages. I’ve got an absurd sentimentality for the project and I’m ridiculously biased but I think it’s a bloody fantastic thing at its best. ‘Go,’ cried the Mayor, ‘and get long poles! Ay, there’s the wonder of the thing! And besides, to the Crumpetty Tree How the Pobble was robbed of his twice five toes! Often you will question the value of your journey and at the end you will have become a different person and will no longer fit comfortably into your original familiar box. In his nest snug and small Isn’t it better to be a fly? for the fat to bubble to the surface. Poetry By Heart is a national competition in which young people in key stages 2, 3, 4 and 5 choose poems they love, learn them by heart and perform them in a school or college competition. Reached the far-off sandy beaches, So he stood in his shoes I’m kicking my heels. The challenge of remembering each word gave me new ways to experience poetry. Through the B3 Media Talent Lab scheme, I managed to get some funding for the film. My feet, cold and sore. The more modern poem was more difficult as, like I said, I was not a poetry fan. Sister river Was rambling on visits to other birds’ nests: The process is very straight-forward and the Poetry by Heart team are always on hand to assist. Poetry is personal. With your left. Come out Slowly upward, wavering, gleaming They will skip, jump and run, whether dwellers in woods, For those mourning the dead and remembering the thousands of every day tragedies of the Western Front, it was windswept hills, mud, and winter rain that were best able to summon the ghosts of the men and boys who would never return. These all work in slightly different ways but have the shared aim of encouraging young people to enjoy poetry and to share that pleasure through public recitation. The first thing I learnt was that, and this was quite a surprise to me being used to local council finances, the whole thing was fully funded. Once I’ve worked with the director and actors on this through the rehearsal process it’s so easy to understand through-lines and super objectives. To finish, here are some more of Ben’s thoughts about illustrating poems. ankle bones sock Here at Poetry By Heart Towers, it can occasionally be forgotten in the midst of various and deadly administrative and marketing tasks that come flying our way that it is only the workers at the coal face who make the competition possible. Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance? Buzz-z! And whenever I go, it feels as though His nose, I added the performative aspect to the recital of the poems only recently – since the way the poems appear in print is idiosyncratic and emotive, the only way to equal this off the page was to embody a similar impression in performance. As Chair of the local cluster of primary schools, Malcolm initiated a Poetry Week. He snapped at a mosquito. They shake their leaves to make a breeze When lessons are done I went to blow the fire a-flame, And bring home The phrases ‘by rote’ and ‘by heart’ occur frequently in the open-ended survey responses. ‘Fern Hill’ is all beauty, a hymn of pleasure tinged with the delicious ache of a nostalgia I was too young to really understand. lit as if from inside. And Wolfie wailed, “That’s not enough! Furthermore, it’s raised the profile of poetry within the school community, generated an excited discussion around literature and given students the chance to explore and develop their own communication and literacy skills. Just an orange! Their popularity is clear evidence of the human connections they’ve made. Forbid it, ye powers, o’er our Class who preside, brave white horses! Adults seemed impressed with the achievement too. Little trotty wagtail, he went in the rain, Neither you nor I: My most recent attempt at getting the poem off the page was a poetry flash mob for National Poetry Day. What a beautiful Pussy you are, nothing I think that with time you understand that for a poem to work, you can’t write it for anybody but yourself. For her young ones at home, just by way of a treat; In addition to his role on the Poetry By heart senior project development team, Mike has single-handedly written almost all of the poem introductions and poet biographies on the website. [10]. While the Halcyon bent over the streamlet to view, Give it a go: poem posters The way individuals relate to a memorised poem is undoubtedly the product of a complex of factors that include personal psychology, family culture, and school experience. He started his business when he was made redundant from the job of deputy principal following a merger of colleges – while dispiriting at the time, it opened up a whole new range of opportunities! We were Laurel and Hardy. There are 22 to choose from! And Chanticleer crow’d, and the Yaffil laugh’d loud. Through focus on the ‘sound’ of the dub poetry and the ways in which this ‘sound’ was articulated by the poet on the page, students became skilful at analysing how sound can be produced in other poems through various rhythmic patterns, the specific arrangement of stanzas and lines, the placement of words, the use of literary devices such as onomatopoeia, alliteration, puns and so on. Watch the classroom scene in the clip available on YouTube here. I have chosen the text above because it is illustrative of a sort of shock and surprise concerning Blake that I myself experienced way back in the early years of the 1970s. If at the end of each year spent in school, students have been marked by even one poem that is going to stay with them, that will be a considerable achievement.’ (In ‘Bags of Enlightenment‘, in The Guardian). Round as a pillow, and whiter than milk, Oh I sting a sherbet orbit, running rings round star or planet; Summer sun was on their wings, You might explore the first line and then have students writing one or more next lines to explore where it might go and then where the poet took it. That would whisper, “Leave behind poetry by heart blog Choose a poem • Learn it by heart • Perform it out loud Poetry By Heart is a national competition in which young people in key stages 2, 3, 4 and 5 choose poems they love, learn them by heart and perform them in a school or college competition. Wid plenty cumin, Blue sky prevailing; We have some NEW blog team members for 2019-20. Twice or thrice his roundelay; We were a double act. His poetry collections are The Hutton Inquiry, Zeppelins, THE RESTRUCTURE and Speculatrix (Penned in the Margins, 2015). Full of vowels ‘We have come to fish for the herring-fish The Peacock Imperial, the pride of his race, Winter in their cry. It’s all about enjoying a poem, exploring its sound and sharing it aloud. Now she campaigns to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, speaking at schools, universities and literary festivals on the healing power of words. of pomegranate seeds. There are rules in the classroom. He ran around the kitchen yelping, How the curls of her tresses But, unstartling though this might seem, this does a great disservice to the place of the Qur’ān in the experience of Muslims across the ages. Snip! Incidentally I’ve picked up two poems by heart myself. I tasted the landscape, customs said Little Red Riding Hood. One question kept coming back to me: how could I encourage my students to develop a true love of poetry – a feeling they would hopefully carry with them after they had left school? Buzz-z! To little boys that suck their thumbs. With thy enchantment, melt me into tears. Then the trav’ller in the dark, We have initially selected 23 poets and 59 poems. A bank with a gun. Baking cinnamon cookies, so puffy and fat. Not only did the visit give validation to Poetry by Heart France, but it also felt, in a small way, as if we were building bridges and making connections (through the power of poetry) at a time when links between the UK and Europe seemed to be particularly fraught. That the tables were clear’d with the utmost decorum. But what shall we do for a ring?" And the Dodo — who chapron’d the two Miss Cushews; But I don’t give up on it either. And if your students are planning to enter the next Poetry By Heart competition, it’s another way of exploring the poems to find ones they might want to commit to memory. Laces for a lady; letters for a spy, That I have had a decent meal!” Maybe some of these women will treasure the poems (or parts of them) in their hearts for ever, and maybe the emotions inspired by the poems or some meanings will develop over time. It was great fun to read it out loud as it was packed with tricky rhymes, alliteration and twists. don’t want no one pointin’ finger.’. Pyrenean Ibex, Wake Island Rail, Shells, tails, whiskers and bone, But the “Bush” could be a reality for any who chose to mentally explore as does Cuthbertson “down the shadowy reaches” [5] or to commune with those dreaming urbanites like Paterson: “And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle, Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street”[6], The Bush was a romantic almost fantasy world populated by strong, adventurous men on horseback as they battled “drought and flooding rains”[7]. Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? We were north and south. Rotlo an guava The development of language, and its evolution over the last 400 years, is evident when lining up two versions of the same poem – and it’s fascinating. And snout to snout I know that a lot of people out there don’t own or read poetry books but poetry is still part of their everyday life. busy old sea in whispers. From my boat I hope that someone in some strange land will find them and It was originally created to continue the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death. May brings flocks of pretty lambs, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Even so, it is certain that many British Muslim students who go to state or private school during the day will then also go on to mosque classes each weekday evening (and sometimes before school too) in order to complete hifz – the memorisation of the whole Qur’ān, a task that might take three or four years. 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