Tag Archives: poetry

Forgetfulness – Billy Collins Animated Poem

Via: Journey Back to Words

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Illuminated Morte d’Arthur

Morte d’Arthur, a poem by Alfred Tennyson, written out and illuminated by Alberto Sangorski; 1912; Reproduced by the Graphic Engraving Co. for Chatto & Windus, London.

“Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Morte d’Arthur, written as early as the spring of 1835, was a retelling of the third, fourth and fifth chapters of the twenty-first book of Malory’s Romance about the legendary King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table. Tennyson later would incorporate a much extended and altered version of the poem into his The Idylls of the King, as the last section titled ‘The Passing of Arthur’.

The illuminator Alberto Sangorski (1862-1932) was late to the world of calligraphy, at the age of 43 beginning to work for his younger brother Francis in the famous Sangorski and Sutcliffe bookbinding firm. One of his greatest achievements was a unique jewel bound version of Omar Khayyám’s Rubáiyát, now referred to as ‘the Great Omar,’ which never reached the American collector who commissioned it as it was sent across on the ill fated Titanic in 1912.”The Public Domain Review

Click the screen shot above to read the 60 page book or go to Internet Archive to find out more about it and download the book in many formats including EPUB, Kindle, PDF and others.


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Friday Funny ~ Poetry

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A Poetry Month Contest for all Grades

“Poets in the modern world don’t enjoy the elevated social status they did a century or two ago. Wordsworth, Byron, Keats and Shelley were the rock stars of their time. Their poetic skills earned them adulation, celebrity and even a touch of wealth.

These days, poems and poetry are sadly relegated to sparsely attended coffeehouse readings or the obscure pages of tiny literary magazines.

On the other side of the proverbial coin, there are wonderful opportunities available in today’s music industry for talented poets who successfully adapt their writing style to song lyric writing. Songs are the popular lyrical medium of our time. That’s where the status is. That’s where the money is.”

The above quote is from the introduction to “Poetry and Song Lyrics” by Carla Starrett.  She goes on to describe the similarities and differences between poetry and song lyrics. Both use potent language, engage readers and listeners on an emotional level and require skilled use of words and rhyming. Beyond the basic contrast of reading a poem and listening to a song, Starrett observes that a poem can be more complex (re-read for understanding) and can be any length, and can be read silently standing alone without voice or accompaniment.

In the lesson Seeing Poetry Through Song Lyrics, on Outta Ray’s Head’s Poetry Page, former teacher librarian Ray Saitz explains how he taught his students that modern poetry can often be seen or heard through song lyrics. Some poetic devices as applied to lyrics are discussed in this post on Pardon My Ducks.

Handwritten Lyrics to LA Woman by The Doors

Bob Woodward explores the origins of poetry and asks if poetry and song lyrics have diverged into to completely different forms of expression in the article Lyrics Poetry?.

“Long before the written word there was poetry, and it was through this oral tradition that much of the form and feel of today’s verse was developed; its melodies and rhythms, and the rhymes which until recently were such an integral part of the discipline, all have their roots in a poetry that, in some sense, was meant to be sung. Though I’m not daring enough to attempt a definition of poetry here, I’d argue that the feature that sets it apart most definitely from prose is this musicality. However, since the advent of writing, a poetry that is written primarily for the printed page has evolved down some very different paths from its oral counterpart. “

Perhaps, considering the challenge in inspiring a connection in our students to poetry, the form has simply begun to revert to its origins. Our students identify with song lyrics, many of them can recite (or sing) the words to multiple songs without effort. I suspect that for most, we could identify poetic devices used and appreciated deliberately or instinctively by writer and listener.

A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall by Bob Dylan

Therefore, I have decided to employ their connection to song lyrics to engage my students in thinking about poetry for Poetry Month.

I took this decision, without any other specific plans to my Library Advisors Group and asked for their ideas. Within minutes they had decided to create a poetry poster contest adjusted slightly by grade division. Students will be asked to create a poster with their favourite and most poetic (in their own opinion) song lyrics: individually from Grades 7-9 and as a class in Grades 1-6. The winning posters in  Division 1 (Grades 1-3) and Division 2 (Grades 4-6) will win dance parties for their class.  One poster in Junior High and one in Senior High will each win for their maker a $25.00 gift certificate from a music store.

The advisor’s group is going to make an example/contest announcement poster and record announcements with music to promote the contest. I am very proud of how they have embraced this project.

Teachers who want to embrace this project can get more ideas from the sites linked above  and the Song Analysis Webquest, which, after the lesson, encourages students to ” …take some time to be aware of the poetry in the music you hear every day.  The next time you turn on the radio, listen closely!  You’ll hear similes, metaphors, alliteration, and all of the devices we’ve been learning about during our unit.  Imagine that!”

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The Raven, Beautifully Read

The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe, read by James Earl Jones

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Laura Thykeson’s Altered Books and Found Poetry

Laura Thykeson describes how she finds poetry in the books she uses for her artwork at Mixed Media Art.

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Sunday Surfing Selection: Preparing for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day (dot.com) is celebrating it’s 16th year online. Learn about St. Patrick as well as parades and other festivities including Irish songs & poems to help you celebrate.

There all all kinds of games and activities for kids at Apples4Teachers.

Picture prompts, limerick starters, border paper, and write on shapes for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from Story-It’s St. Patrick’s Day Resources page.

The Teacher’s Guide for St. Patrick’s Day has lesson plans, interactive whiteboard resources, printables, crafts and clipart.

A list of St. Patrick’s Day books for kids at Kaboose.

Peonies and Poppyseeds has colour printables to download.

All kinds of inspiration at Pinterest.

Although limericks are apparently not originally Irish, they continue to be associated with St. Patrick’s Day.

Ten minute presentation all about St. Patrick’s Day, narrated by children.

And just because it was my favourite song as a child and I’ve never heard it sung more beautifully, the Celtic Women with ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow:

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Mark Grist on Girls Who Read – (Workplace warning)

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