National Poetry Day

It’s national poetry day so I thought I’d share three of my favourites.  Feel free to share yours I’m always interested in expanding my poetry appreciation.

Stop all the clocks by W.H Auden, to me, sums up perfectly how grief feels.  No more words needed.

Stop All the Clocks

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

I first heard Sea Fever by Joe Masefield at the funeral of a former fisherman.  It summed him up perfectly and often makes me think of Orkney Beef as it sums him up perfectly too.  Read and enjoy.

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.


Finally, still I rise by Maya Angelou

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.


7 thoughts on “National Poetry Day

  1. I’m not really a poetry person and so this following appeals to me. It’s short. It has a measure of social comment and it makes me smile. On yonder hill, there stood a dookit
    It’s no there noo, cos someone’s took it

    I hope you enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Sarah

    Love all three of your poems.
    Two of my favourites that immediately come to mind are Warning by Jenny Joseph and The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.
    And Andy Mitchell’s little poem in Comments made me laugh out loud . . .

    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Kath The Road Less Taken I LOVED. Thank you. The Warning I forgot I knew. I often tease The Mothership that she is embracing this poem a little too well. She thinks it was written as a challenge for her.


  3. Great choices Sarah.
    My dad fostered a love of poetry in me.
    I think of it as painting pictures with words.
    The great Lover -Rupert Brooke

    My dad loved Spike Milligan so the
    Ning Nang Nong holds fond memories for me.

    I could go on but I won’t. Thank you for the blog – it’s rekindled a rich vein of memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rupert Brooke lived and wrote a few miles away from my house in Cambs. Good choice Hazel. It’s encouraging to see how many bloggers and friends have responded to this post. Glad poetry is still alive and well in people’s hearts x


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.