I Like This Poem | World Poetry Day

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Today is World Poetry Day, and even though I am rubbish at writing poems, I do enjoy reading them! When I was younger I used to go to Dacia Stevens Stage School – a local (South Woodford) drama school, from about the age of 5 to 11. This photo is of the class I used to attend.

Dacia Stevens Drama School, South Woodford - 1980s
Can you guess which one is me?!

This was an after school thing, but in school, I also used to have elocution lessons (although, hearing me speak these days you wouldn’t think it!!) and as such had to learn and memorise lots and lots of poems.

We used to have several books to learn from, and one was called “I Like This Poem” and I clearly remember going out with my auntie to buy it!

In fact, I’ve just found it on Amazon so I’m going to buy myself another copy, as the one I had fell apart years ago! It was a book of poems for children, chosen by children and was first printed in 1979.

Some of the poems have stuck in my head to this very day and I can still recite them!

I thought I’d share those three poems with you…

Spike Milligan

‘Twas midnight in the schoolroom
And every desk was shut
When suddenly from the alphabet
Was heard a loud “Tut-Tut!”

Said A to B, “I don’t like C;
His manners are a lack.
For all I ever see of C
Is a semi-circular back!”

“I disagree,” said D to B,
“I’ve never found C so.
From where I stand he seems to be
An uncompleted O.”

C was vexed, “I’m much perplexed,
You criticise my shape.
I’m made like that, to help spell Cat
And Cow and Cool and Cape.”

“He’s right” said E; said F, “Whoopee!”
Said G, “‘Ip, ‘Ip, ‘ooray!”
“You’re dropping me,” roared H to G.
“Don’t do it please I pray.”

“Out of my way,” LL said to K.
“I’ll make poor I look ILL.”
To stop this stunt J stood in front,
And presto! ILL was JILL.

“U know,” said V, “that W
Is twice the age of me.
For as a Roman V is five
I’m half as young as he.”

X and Y yawned sleepily,
“Look at the time!” they said.
“Let’s all get off to beddy byes.”
They did, then “Z-z-z.”

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The Charge of the Light Brigade
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

The End
AA Milne

When I was One,
I had just begun.

When I was Two,
I was nearly new.

When I was Three,
I was hardly Me.

When I was Four,
I was not much more.

When I was Five,
I was just alive.

But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.

All quite different poems aren’t they? Just reciting them in my head brings back memories of my childhood, especially The ABC, which I used to say over and over again until I learned it word for word! The Charge of the Light Brigade, which was quite a serious poem for a child to learn and recite, still stays in my head. I can even picture myself reciting it for one of my drama exams!! In my mind, as I read these poems back before I hit publish, I can hear the young me, pronouncing the words correctly, in time and adding feeling to each line. It’s crazy how memories pop back into your head!

Do you have a favourite poem?

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