Monday, 24 December 2007

A cold coming we had of it...

Here's one for the season, TS Eliot reading his poem Journey of the Magi.

On a very different note, it was a poem (Twas the Night Before Christmas) first published by an anonymous North American in 1823, that is largely responsible for the conception of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today, including his physical appearance, the night of his visit, his mode of transportation, the number and names of his reindeer, and that he brings toys to children! Despite this revelation, I'm still hoping for a bumper stocking...

Happy holidays and a peaceful new year to all.

Monday, 17 December 2007

A Touch of Frost

All week the Hope Valley has been etched with frost. 'Hoar frost', the dictionary tells me, is from Old English and means 'frozen water-vapour on vegetation etc.'
Frost At Midnight was written by Coleridge in 1798. It's long-ish but don't let that put you off. Reading poetry (the link will also let you download or listen to it) at this time of year can be a good antidote to pre-Xmas madness ...
Photo: Liz Jones

Monday, 10 December 2007

Poems for 6 +

If you need a poetry present this Xmas you can't do better than Goblin In The Fridge - funny, imaginative and thoughtful poems for children (and smart adults) by my friend (he didn't even ask me to plug it!) and fellow poet Matt Black. Quizzes, games and much, much more for only £4.99. Here's a sample:
He’s got big green eyes that stare
and a head of wiry hair
but he's the goblin no-one sees
because he hides behind the cheese

and if you ask him “Are you real?"
the goblin cries “I’ll make a deal -
if you’ll believe in me
then I’ll believe in you…”

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Poets Kicking In Nantwich

If you happen to be near Nantwich, Cheshire this Thursday 6th December you can catch 3 members of Poets with a Kick performing at Nantwich Library, 7.30 pm. Nell Farrell and myself will be assisting Suzanne Batty in launching her new Bloodaxe collection The Barking Thing on her home ground. Hope to see you there!

Monday, 3 December 2007

Write On!

If you are a young writer or aspiring writer aged 12 - 18 you are most welcome at Write On - Chesterfield Young Writers' Group. I've been working with this lively and prize-winning group for a year and it contains some of the most enthusiastic writers I've ever met! Read some of the group's work and find out how to join.

This week's poem is suitably rain-influenced: Watch Your Step - I'm Drenched by the Shadow Poet Laureate Adrian Mitchell (about time he put in an appearance here).
If you'd like an animated version try selecting it from this list.