Advent Poetry

A couple of years ago I heard Frank Cottrell Boyce give the Fickling Lecture on Developments in Children’s Literature. He talked about the importance of taking pleasure in reading and the benefits of reading aloud.

As a child I took part in prose reading competitions. As an adult I take great pleasure in reading to my nephews. Listening to Frank Cottrell Boyce share his passion for telling stories reminded me of how much I enjoy reading aloud and sharing what I’m reading. On leaving the lecture theatre I made a conscious decision to make more opportunities for reading aloud.

Last year my partner and I started a new tradition of reading each other a poem a day during Advent. For the first year we used Haphazard by Starlight as our guide. This year we’re taking it in turns to choose a poem from the collections we have on our shelves. Below is an evolving list of the poem’s we’ve read [I’ve provided links where the poem can be found online]:

  1. In a dream she meets him again by Maura Dooley
  2. Flies by Alice Oswald
  3. To Martin Luther King: Neal Hall in Kolkata by Bashabi Fraser
  4. The Standing Man by K. Satchidanandan
  5. Badger the Cadger by Peter Knaggs
  6. rain by Katharine Towers
  7. Stand by Jericho Brown
  8. The Actor’s Voice by Lemn Sissay
  9. Dirge from The Tempest by William Shakespeare
  10. Them & Uz by Tony Harrison
  11. A Part Song by Denise Riley
  12. A Hundred and One by Imtiaz Dharker
  13. When the Copperplate Cracks by Imtiaz Dharker (Bonus poem by the same author: Cranes)
  14. December by Carol Ann Duffy
  15. The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll
  16. Composed underneath Westminster Bridge by Denise Riley (Bonus poem by William Wordsworth: Composed upon Westminster Bridge)
  17. Gold from the Stone by Lemn Sissay
  18. ‘When we cry to Thee’ by Denise Riley
  19. Stalker by Vahni Capildeo
  20. The Stone Grinder by Seamus Heaney
  21. Flushed by Lemn Sissay
  22. Hailstones by Seamus Heaney
  23. Mountain by Helen Mort
  24. A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore

Featured image by Richie Lugo on Unsplash

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I am a freelance writer, editor and trainer. A librarian in a former life.

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