National Poetry Day 2014

Poems for Children – National Poetry Day 2nd October 2014.

Writing a Poem – How Hard Could it Be?

National Poetry Day 2014As it is National Poetry Day on 2nd October, some of our centres are running poetry writing classes and competitions for our students to write a piece of poetry.  We tutor students from age 5 to 18 and the reaction from the primary students has been one of enthusiasm and excitement and they cannot wait to get started and be creative.  The older teenage students however (with a few exceptions) rolled their eyes and thought this was an incredibly boring task.

A new student who is sitting National 5 English exams next year said “I already have to learn a poem for my exams. That’s enough poetry to last me a lifetime!”  One of our English tutors quickly googled something and then quoted the following:

“The worst things in life come free to us
‘Cause we’re just under the upper hand
And go mad for a couple grams
And she don’t want to go outside tonight
And in a pipe she flies to the Motherland
Or sells love to another man
It’s too cold outside
For angels to fly
Angels to fly”

He instantly recognised Ed Sheeran’s lyrics from the song ‘A Team’ and had honestly never considered that some of his favourite song lyrics could be regarded as poetry.  It is unlikely that Ed Sheeran songs will ever come up in an English exam and it is important that students can learn and understand important pieces of poetry to write about for exam purposes.  Some students who want to pursue a future in English will relish all poetry but there are some students who want to pass their English exams but will never have a love for classical poetry.  It is up to us as teachers to introduce poetry in an exciting way for students to relate to and to love.

Best Poems of all Time?

There are numerous lists of poems which have been compiled over the years and I don’t wish to add to that. Your own personal favourite may be by Rudyard Kipling, W H Auden, Wilfred Owen, Robert Burns, William Wordsworth or any of the top 30 poems that The Times have suggested you read. There are some great poems listed but surely some are missing?  What do you think?

I would like to leave you with a poem written by a young primary student of ours who wrote this after her granny died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.  Heather, your granny would have been proud of you.

The Words I Didn’t Say  

Emotions flow like a river

running through my heart

And all this time I’ve been thinking

of the words I didn’t say


Did I even say I loved you enough times for you to truly know I did


A large part of my aching heart is gone without a trace

It won’t come back, just like you.

I will always regret the words I didn’t say


Did I even say I loved you enough times for you to truly know I did


I miss you and I always will.

And the words I didn’t say

Will haunt me forever.


Did I even say I loved you enough times for you truly know I did

Love you forever Granny, Heatherxx


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