Poetry Friday; Months – Sara Coleridge

As we leave 2018 here is a lovely poem about the seasons, as we look forward to 2019


The Months – Sara Coleridge

January brings the snow,
makes our feet and fingers glow.

February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.

March brings breezes loud and shrill,
stirs the dancing daffodil.

April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daisies at our feet.

May brings flocks of pretty lambs,
Skipping by their fleecy dams.

June brings tulips, lilies, roses,
Fills the children’s hand with posies.

Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots and gillyflowers.

August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the Harvest home is borne.

Warm September brings the fruit,
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.

Fresh October brings the pheasant;
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.

Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves are falling fast.

Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire and Christmas treat.

Happy Birthday, Robert Westall!

In honour of Robert Westall’s birthday here is a beautiful quote from him:


“I don’t remember how old I was. I know I had sadly abandoned hope of dragons. I had checked for wolves under the stairs and found only a sack of musty potatoes, and a meter with the faint exciting whiff of gas. But there were still monsters. The lamplighter walking in front of us was a minor wizard. He put his long pole to the gas lamps and created darkness. It was broad daylight till the gas-lamps flared; instantly night gathered round them like smoke.”

Find out more:

* Lovely article about the last lamplighters in Britain http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2848038/The-magical-job-Britain-Enchanting-story-gas-street-lights-five-men-burning-just-did-Dickens-day.html

* Robert Westall Website http://www.robertwestall.com/

Happy Birthday Michael Morpurgo!

I think this quote sums up the magic and power of Michael Morpurgo!



“I think we yearn to feel close to our fellow creatures. We long to feel we are part of their world, not mere observers. Certainly that is true for me. I am lucky enough to live and work in the heart of the countryside. As I write this, sheep are shifting in the field beyond my window, policed by foraging crows, a blue tit clings upside down in the thatch searching for insects for the straw, a whirl of starlings unfolds in the wind and is buffeted away over Innocents’ Copse. I have only to put on my boots and walk down the high-hedged lane towards the Torridge river to see where the badger has passed on his way last night up his alleyway through the field hedge. My nose tells me a fox has been by even more recently. Down by the river I might see a heron lifting off and lumbering skywards, and I might hear the slap of a leaping salmon and the plop of a water rat. If I’m lucky, I’ll spot a kingfisher flashing by, straight as a jewelled arrow – gone before I saw it. And if I’m very silent, still and patient, I might know that moment again when an otter came away. We just met. And when tonight I go milking under a star-filled heaven, the vixen will cry at me and the twany owl will let me know he’s there and watching, and I’ll feel part of it all, just one of them.”




Poetry Friday; Arundel Tomb – Philip Larkin

Yesterday was Philip Larkin’s birthday and so to celebrate one of my favourite poets, here is one of my favourite poems!


An Arundel Tomb

By Philip Larkin

Side by side, their faces blurred,

The earl and countess lie in stone,

Their proper habits vaguely shown

As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,

And that faint hint of the absurd—

The little dogs under their feet.


Such plainness of the pre-baroque

Hardly involves the eye, until

It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still

Clasped empty in the other; and

One sees, with a sharp tender shock,

His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.


They would not think to lie so long.

Such faithfulness in effigy

Was just a detail friends would see:

A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace

Thrown off in helping to prolong

The Latin names around the base.


They would not guess how early in

Their supine stationary voyage

The air would change to soundless damage,

Turn the old tenantry away;

How soon succeeding eyes begin

To look, not read. Rigidly they


Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths

Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light

Each summer thronged the glass. A bright

Litter of birdcalls strewed the same

Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths

The endless altered people came,


Washing at their identity.

Now, helpless in the hollow of

An unarmorial age, a trough

Of smoke in slow suspended skeins

Above their scrap of history,

Only an attitude remains:


Time has transfigured them into

Untruth. The stone fidelity

They hardly meant has come to be

Their final blazon, and to prove

Our almost-instinct almost true:

What will survive of us is love


I remember studying this in school and just falling in love with analysing the poem and its final meaning.

Happy Birthday, Terry Pratchett!

In order of the wonderful Terry Pratchett’s birthday here is a lovely quote by him:


“Fantasy is like alcohol, too much is bad for you, a little bit makes the world a better place. Like an exercise bicycle it takes you nowhere, but it might just tone up the muscles that will. Daydreaming got us where we are today; early on in evolution we learned to let our minds wander so well that they started coming back with souvenirs.”


Poetry Friday; Fight of The Year – Roger McGough

Roger McGough is one of my favourite writers and I love this poem. (am hoping that Spring stages a last minute comeback soon and defeats this rain and snow!)



The Fight of the Year – Roger Mc Gough

And there goes the bell for the third month  and
Winter comes out of his corner looking groggy
Spring leads with a left to the head
followed by a sharp right to the body
pussy willow

Winter can’t take much more punishment  and
Spring shows no signs of tiring
bunny rabbits
mad march hares
horse and hounds

Spring is merciless
Winter won’t go the whole twelve rounds
bobtail clouds
scallywag winds
the sun
the pavement artist
in every town
a left to the chin  and
Winter’s down!

1 tomatoes
2 radish
3 cucumber
4 onions
5 beetroot
6 celery
7 and any
8 amount
9 of lettuce
10 for dinner
Winter’s out for the count
Spring is the winner!

Analysis Monday – Cold

Every Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written. Feel free to add your own comments! Thought this one would be approriate for the first post of April!


“I don’t remember the date, the month. I don’t even remember the time of year. But I know it wasn’t summer. It was cold. Not like the cold of winter, when the gentle frost stings your nose. It was wet and chilly, disagreeable. Like the cold of late autumn, when the birds have already flown away, the trees are bare, the earth is dark yet the sky is too stingy to send a blanket of snow to cover its wretchedness. Or like the cold of early spring, when everything is still tentative, uncertain – when it seems the battle in the sky is not yet over, the sun has been taken prisoner, and the heroes of light could still turn around dolefully and say: “No, we won’t make it; the dark and cold are stronger than us – spring won’t win this time.””

German Sadulaev (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/nov/21/german-sadulaev-chechen-chechnya-war)

This is beautifully layered piece of writing explores his feelings of despair and loss when returning to Chechnya after the first war there.

– Lovely and peaceful (as suggested by word “gentle”) image but the writer has already informed you that this is not the kind of cold he is feeling – foreshadowing what is to come. 

– Rule of three – building up negative images, builds up to a climax of the earth is dark, showing how complete this cold is

– Personfication – showing that the sky, somethingnormally posiutive and beautiful, is now conspiring to create more misery

– Layering up of negative word choice – this all adds to the sense of sadness and hopelessness

– Extended Metaphor – references what the writer will talk about later in the passage but also adds to the mood and atmosphere of this paragraph

– Positive word choice to reinforce again the central images of this paragraph


Poetry Friday; Me and My Brother – Michael Rosen


A great poem about the cheekiness of brothers!


Me and My Brother
Me and my brother,
we sit up in bed
doing my dad‟s sayings.
I go to bed first
and I‟m just dozing off
and I hear a funny voice going:
“Never let me see you doing that again,”
and it‟s my brother
poking his finger out just like
my dad
„Never let me see you doing that again.”
And so I join in
and we‟re both going:
“Never let me see you doing that again.”
So what happens next time
when we
get into trouble
and my dad’s telling me off?
He’s going:
“Never let me see you doing that again.”
So I’m looking up at my dad going,
“Sorry, Dad, sorry,”
and I suddenly catch sight of my brother‟s
big red face
poking out from behind my dad.
And while my dad is poking me with his finger in time with the words:
“Never let me see you doing that again,”
there’s my brother doing just the same
behind my dad’s back
just where I can see him
and he’s saying the words as well
So I start laughing
and my dad says,
Of course my brother knows that one as well
he’s going with his mouth:
“And it’s no laughing matter.”
But my dad’s not stupid.
He knows something’s going on.
So he looks round
and there’s my brother
with his finger poking out
just like my dad
and I’m standing there laughing.
Oh no
then we get into
By Michael Rosen
Watch Michael Rosen reading the poem here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWRzoffHz1Q

Analysis Monday – T-Shirts

Every Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written. Feel free to add your own comments!


I blame the T-shirts. The casual wear favoured by those founding wunderkinds of tech – Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and the rest – lulled us into a false sense of security. Even after they’d begun making serious money, too many of us took the aversion to a collar and tie to mean the likes of Facebook or Google were not really scary capitalist behemoths, but retained the spirit of the upstart startup: quirky, plucky and driven chiefly by a desire to do cool stuff with computers. They certainly saw themselves that way, Google charmingly distilling its mission statement into three words: “Don’t be evil.” It’s amazing how long an initial image of laidback informality can endure: for decades, Britons struggled to see Virgin as a corporate giant because Richard Branson had long hair and a goatee.

Jonathan Freedland (to read article in full – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/23/people-owned-web-tech-giants-facebook-cambridge-analytica)

– Short sentence to open and draw in reader. Creates a slightly humourous tone but also sumarise the point being made

– Emphasises point that we were decieved into believeing them (Word choice) 

– Contrast – showing the difference is what they are and what we think they are.

– Rule of three (after colon) – to emphasise what the spirit of a start up is, this also builds up the contast with the big “capitalist behemoths”

– Word choice – again building up the idea of the cool start-up for a billion dollar company

-Sentence Structure – colon shows that the writer is expanding on the point being made, giving an example which we all know and understand and shows that this is not a new problem.

Poetry Friday; Marrog – RC Scriven

I remember reading this poem in primary school and totally loving the fab description!


The Marrog
My desk’s at the back of the class
    And nobody, nobody knows
        I’m a Morrog from Mars
With a body of brass
    And seventeen fingers and toes.
Wouldn’t they shriek if they knew
    I’ve three eyes at the back of my head
    And my hair is bright purple
My nose is deep blue
    And my teeth are half-yellow, half-red.
My five arms are silver, and spiked
    With knives on them sharper than spears.
I could go back right now if I liked-
    And return in a million light-years.
I could gobble them all 
For I’m seven foot tall
    And return in a million ears,
Wouldn’t they yell if they knew,
    If they guessed that a Morrog was here?
Ha-ha, they haven’t a clue-
    Or wouldn’t they tremble with fear!
“Look, look, a Morrog”
    They’d all scream-and SMACK
The blackboard would fall and the ceiling would crack
    And teacher would faint, I suppose.
But I grin to myself,l sitting right at the back
    And nobody, nobody knows.