Poetry Friday; Months – Sara Coleridge

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

four-seasons

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.

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!

The-Arundel-Tomb

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His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.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.

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!)

1200px-Colorful_spring_garden

 

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
daffodils
primroses
crocuses
snowdrops
lilacs
violets
pussy willow

Winter can’t take much more punishment  and
Spring shows no signs of tiring
tadpoles
squirrels
baalambs
badgers
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!

Poetry Friday; Me and My Brother – Michael Rosen

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A great poem about the cheekiness of brothers!

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
going:
„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,
“AND IT’S NO LAUGHING MATTER.”
Of course my brother knows that one as well
and
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
REALLY BIG TROUBLE.
By Michael Rosen
Watch Michael Rosen reading the poem here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWRzoffHz1Q

Poetry Friday; Marrog – RC Scriven

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

index

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.

Poetry Friday; Sheep – C. Kenneth Burrow

This is just a beautiful poem about bedraggled sheep who get a glimpse of the sun!

Sheep

Sheep

Huddled, rain-drenched, forlorn they stood,
Their fleeces blown one way;
The wet wind cried in solitude
About the failing day.

Leaves whirled below, aloft; the sky
Sagged like a sodden shroud;
No stir of life, no pleading cry,
Came from the draggled crowd.

Sudden the western portals wide
Opened on that gaunt fold;
Then lo, a flock beautified
With fleeces dripping gold!

C. Kennett Burrow

Poetry Friday; Firebird – Jean Kenward

There is nothing nicer than watching a real fire and the flames dance and fly up.

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The Firebird’

 

Fire – what lets you leap and spring,

fluttering your golden wing in the soft

and smoky air,

sending sparkles everywhere?

 

Fire – what makes you as you are,

sharing light with sun and star –

sharing all that you may be

with anyone as small as me?

 

Fire – what show you how to fly smoke

in spirals to the sky?

And, when you sink down

to rest, gives you ashes for a nest?

 

Jean Kenward

 

 

Poetry Friday; Snow Day – Billy Collins

I found this beautiful poem through a good friend – and it is perfect for today!
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Snow Day

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows
the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.
In a while, I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch
sending a cold shower down on us both.
But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news
that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed.
the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with—some will be delighted to hear—
the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and—clap your hands—the Peanuts Play School.
So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.
And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.

Poetry Friday; The Poetry Grand National – Roger Stevens

Love the central image of this poem – and how he uses what each of the features of language are to create this poem.

todays_equine_horse_racing.jpg.opt790x586o0,0s790x586

 

The Poetry Grand National

The horses line up

They’re under starter’s orders

They’re off

 

Adverb leaps gracefully over the first fence

Followed by adjective

A sleek grey

 

Simile is overtaking on the outside

Like a pebble skimming the water

 

Halfway round the course

And Hyperbole is gaining on the leaders

Travelling at a million miles an hour

 

Adverb strides smoothly into first place.

 

Haiku had good odds

But is far behind – and falls

At the last sylla-

ble

 

And as they flash past the winning post

The crowd is cheering

The winner is

Metaphor

Who quietly takes a bow

 

Roger Stevens

Poetry Friday; Valentine – Carol Ann Duffy

Thought this was the perfect Valentine’s poem – suitable for those in love and for those who are not!

onion-pixa

Valentine

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.

It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.

It promises light

like the careful undressing of love.

Here.

It will blind you with tears

like a lover.

It will make your reflection

a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.

Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,

possessive and faithful

as we are,

for as long as we are.

Take it.

Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring,

if you like.

Lethal.

Its scent will cling to your fingers,

cling to your knife.
One of those poems that looks simple on first reading but reveals more the deeper you read.