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World Poetry Day, 2018

March 20, 2018

World Poetry Day 2018 is a great time to celebrate an often neglected area of our literary heritage through reading, writing, performing and sharing favourite poems.

I was delighted to be invited to judge this year’s poetry writing competition open to students at New College, Stamford, Lincolnshire. It’s always exciting to read the fresh voices of young writers. The competition’s theme – ‘environment’ – offered broad scope of interpretation. It was over-ridingly evident that all entrants enjoyed writing their poems – this came across in their work. I won’t announce the winners here, but will congratulate those who took the top three places, especially the First Prize winner.

Here in South Devon our environment has been layered in deep snow – a rare occurrence in England’s West Country – but to happen twice in one month is amazing. This time around it stayed long enough to be enjoyable, but thawed quickly enough to avoid being too much of a nuisance: perfect!

aftermath of snow collage

Today the thaw began. It reminded me of one of my favourite poems by one of my favourite poets, perfectly describing today, the first day of spring:

Thaw – Edward Thomas

Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flower of grass,
What we below could not see, Winter pass.

PS   *** If you had snow over the weekend, did you build a snowman? ***

They don’t last long, do they? And maybe it’s just as well. Have you read Roger McGough‘s poem The Trouble with Snowmen? It’s poem #26 in my Schofield and Sims anthology A Time to Speak and A Time to Listen. It’s a poem to make you think!


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