Monday, 5 January 2015

Make a Poetry Promise for 2015

Happy new year! After two blissful weeks of running over the Kinder plateau in snow, seeing friends and reading books, I'm dreading January with its flinty stare and diet of lettuce leaves. We all know it's the worst possible time of year to give up anything, but we feel like we should make some resolutions anyway. But help is at hand....this year, instead of quitting something for 2015, Poetry by Heart is encouraging us to take on a new challenge and learn a poem by heart or read a new poem every month throughout the year. I'm taking the challenge. Will you join me?

Poetry by Heart is an organisation that encourages students aged 14-18 to memorise poems and make them their own. They run a national competition every year (and I'm happy to be part of the judging panel for the Derbyshire & Notts round later this month). But learning poems by heart isn't just for school pupils - anyone can join in and make a 'poetry promise' for 2015.

The phrase 'learn by heart' comes from the ancient Greeks. They placed the seat of thought in the heart rather than the head. I think that's a rather beautiful mistake: after all, when you memorise words you love, you take them into your heart.

Throughout this year, I'll be attempting to memorise a poem every month and I'll share some videos of the poems on twitter (@HelenMort) and here on the blog. Why not join me in the poetry promise? If learning a new poem every month sounds like too much, you could promise to just read a poem a month instead or perhaps even write one. You can find out more about the poetry promise by contacting Poetry by Heart on twitter (@PoetryByHeart) or visiting their website here.

Now, where did I put my memory?

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