This Thursday (6th of October) is national poetry day and celebrates the wonderful art of poetry and all things poetical. This day was founded in 1994 by William Sieghart- an entrepreneur and publisher who also established the Forward Prizes for Poetry.
Now I know many of you reading this are probably wondering why anyone would be so enthusiastic about poetry to give it its own day, is it not just a couple of words strung together into a sentence that makes absolutely no sense written by some old codger who is trying to tell me that a fish is actually supposed to be the living embodiment of military force for example? (Heaney’s Trout for those of you who have already forgotten your English Literature revision).
Well, in short, no.
Poetry is so much more than just some metaphorical mumbo-jumbo, poetry is philosophy, it’s escapism, in the words of Percy Bryce Shelley “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world”.
Unknown to many though, poetry is not just the literature we are forced to learn in English lit for our end of year tests, it’s in our music, it’s on our TVs, it’s in our cinemas and it’s on our stages.
One example is of the 16 Tony Award winning musical “Hamilton”, the story of the life and work of America’s first treasury secretary- in rap.
Not only is the show packed with musical genius, but it is a literary masterpiece and shows that poetry is not just a thing of the past, but it is a living and breathing factor in our society that daily unites us, inspires us and can sometimes genuinely change us.
With that in mind, and using the example of Hamilton for some of my favorite lines of poetry as all the bloggers have been posting, here’s one of my favorites from the play-
“When you got skin in the game, you stay in the game.
But you don’t get a win unless you play in the game.
Oh, you get love for it. You get hate for it.
You get nothing if you…Wait for it,
God help and forgive me but I wanna’ build something that’s gonna’ outlive me
If you stand for nothing Burr what’ll you fall for?”
“Room Where it Happens”
In celebration of National Poetry Day our bloggers have chosen some of their favourite lines of poetry- some explained and some just for sharing.
“Beside the forbidden waters
that lie deeper than the night.
Inside the darkened Forest
Where there is no happy light.
The hemlock trees
They shake with fear,
Trembling in the summer wind
With fear and understanding
That the wendigo is near”
This is a snippet from Wendigo by Judy Kyrie, full poem is on here just incase
“Things that I Hope Are True About Heaven”
“That the radio always plays what would have been your favorite songs. That there’s always coffee if you want it. That you’re there. That it’s real.”
from ‘Our Numbered Days’ poetry collection by Neil Hilborn
‘If you can dream- and not make dreams master;
If you can think- and not make thoughts your aim.’
–If by Rudyard Kipling
“This is from my favourite poem and I find these two lines particularly thought provoking. I like how they’re slightly vague, it gives every reader a chance to give the lines their own meaning.”
Sing To Me, Autumn by Patricia Cisco
“Dance with me, autumn, your waltz that
bends the boughs of trees
Now tell me all the secrets you’ve whispered
to the seas”
“I like this poem because it is very descriptive and creates a lot of imagery through personification of the common elements of the Autumn season. It is a feel-good and ethereal poem as it paints the concept of autumn as a very romantic and comforting season.”
“These murmurings of love that around her steps ascend,
Piously faithful still unto her austere duty,
Will say, when she shall read these lines full of her beauty,
‘Who can this woman be?’ and will not comprehend.”
“This poem is a beautiful tribute to a woman who earns the poets deep affection, yet she is oblivious to his desires. It is a romantic tragedy, but can gives us all hope that someone may love us even if we are unawares.”
‘Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all’
“I like this quote because it allows you to believe that you will always have hope in everything that you do.”
Poet: William Wordsworth
“Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay.”
“I just love the way he describes nature and uses imagery. Its simple, just about flowers but it is dreamy and pleasant and just makes me feel good.”