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For a Change …

September 19, 2018

On 4th October 2018, this year’s National Poetry Day, the theme is CHANGE and if you scroll down you can find two poems that I’ve written about COMPLETE change – that is metamorphosis. I wonder if you can guess which two creatures feature in my poems? But FIRST … have a look at this wonderful new anthology, hot off the press:

I am the Seed that Grew the Tree Anthology Fiona Waters Nosy Crow

I have to call this beautiful anthology a tome – it’s more than a just a book – it’s four-and-a-half pounds of pure delight in word and illustration. Collected by Fiona Waters, and gorgeously illustrated in full colour by Frann Preston Gannon, I am the Seed that Grew the Tree – a nature poem for every day of the year – is likely to become a classic and a daily delight to young and old. All of which makes me very proud to be in it among favourite poets long past, recent past, and present – from Clare to Causley, from Masefield to Mitton – and me! (Click on the link to look inside the book!)

Published by Nosy Crow in association with the National Trust isbn 978 0 857 637 703

Word of warning though: if you’re thinking of buying this as a Christmas present, try and deliver it by hand – it’s heavy to put in the post!

And now for a couple more nature poems. These do not appear in the book above, but they do exemplify change. There is no bigger change than complete metamorphosis, when a creature’s form entirely changes even though it is the same entity. I hope you enjoy these poems, but please note that they, and all the content on this site, are copyright. If you wish to print these poems elsewhere – including online – you must seek permission. Thank you.

peacock butterfly © Celia Warren 2018

Metamorphosis

Do you believe in butterflies?
a caterpillar said.
Butterflies – that we become
after we are dead?

Another young grub nodded.
I’ve seen one just today:
a lovely butterfly with wings
to help it fly away.

I don’t believe in butterflies,
another one pronounced;
The concept of an after-life
was long ago denounced.

I’ve never seen a butterfly,
said he who asked the question;
The only one I thought I saw
was born of indigestion.

And yet, he persevered, you know
I hold the firm belief,
that though I’ve never seen one
they’re as real as this leaf

And, if we keep on chewing,
and do as we are told,
then we won’t die, we’ll learn to fly
when we are fat and old.

In fact, he said, it seems to me
that flying would be super.
With that he yawned and spun around
and turned into a pupa.

The other caterpillars stared:
their hopeful friend look dead.
He has no wings; he cannot fly,
one to another said.

They crawled away and never saw
what happened by and by:
The pupa split and there emerged
a brand new butterfly.

© Celia Warren 2018

And now, one final nature poem about change …

Frogspawn in the Pond

What lies beyond
frogspawn in the pond?

   Tons of tiny tadpoles.

What lies beyond
tadpoles in the pond?© Celia Warren 2018

   Lots of little frogs.

What lies beyond
frogs in the pond?

   Lots more frogspawn.

What lies beyond
frogspawn in the pond?

© Celia Warren 2018

 

Enjoy National Poetry Day!

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Holiday reading?

August 5, 2018

sea poem holiday bookmark.JPG

Being on holiday – at home or away – is always a good time for relaxing with a book. And if, like me, you read in short bursts, in between swimming in the sea or taking photographs, you’ll need a bookmark. So here’s one that you can copy and print on thin card. Cut it out and it’s ready to use. On the back, you could draw a picture of your own favourite holiday place and write your own long, thin poem.

I am very lucky to live by the sea, so every day feels like being on holiday (when I’m not working, that is!) But wherever you are, enjoy a break from work.

 

Fabulous pictures to illustrate poems

June 4, 2018

It’s been rather quiet on this website-blog lately, but it’s only because I’ve been so busy. Here I am sharing some of my poems recently in Chew Magna, Somerset. Meanwhile, a performing at Chew Magna circle select  I’ve been enjoying how sometimes my poems inspire pictures. Here, eight-year-old Lucy has added a beautiful dimension to some of my poems with her pictures.

turtle poem illustrated by Lucy June 2018

And, below, is a picture of the star of my poem Lion, that begins:

I have a box
in which I keep
a shoulder I may cry on.
I lift the lid
and there inside’s
a large and lovely lion …

You can hear me perform the whole poem here.

Lion illustration by Lucy + tagline a

(I like the caring way that Lucy has added air-holes to the lion’s box – very sensible and thoughtful – although, as he is a magic lion, he will always be fine in his magic box.)

I hope to share more of Lucy’s lovely illustrations another day.

Meanwhile, if you have drawn a picture of one of my poems, and would like it to appear on this website, please do send me a jpeg copy.

 

 

 

 

1st, 2nd, 3rd …

April 4, 2018

…4th April, and I’m delighted to feature on poet Liz Brownlee’s Poetry Roundabout A-Z challenge running throughout April 2018. Liz is presenting her challenge working from Z-A this year, with poets attached to each letter. Z, Y, X, W … Warren, Celia – that’s me! And as it happens, it’s W for Worms, too.

You can read one of my favourites from my collection Don’t Poke a Worm till it Wriggles (published by Bloomsbury) on lovely Liz’s Poetry Roundabout.

DONT_POKE_A_WORM_CVR

Every day this month you can meet more children’s poets and read more lovely poems on the Poetry Roundabout. Enjoy!

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!

 

World Book Day – Write your Own!

March 1, 2018

School’s closed because of snow.
On World Book Daywrite your own!

Think of a setting – Under the sea?
Inside a sofa? Climbing a tree?

Plan a good character: Girl? Boy?*
Pick their pet hate, their greatest joy.

Decide an ambition your character has.
Create something or someone that stops them.

Consider some ways their wish can come true.
Find them friends, but obstacles, too.

Write their adventures – some chuckles, some screams
on their way to fulfilling their dearest dreams.

© Celia Warren 2018

* or an animal, a mythical creature, an alien, a live toy or YOU!

Good luck!

A Nice Day … for Ducks!

January 24, 2018

It’s a grey, wet and windy January day. I’m in the third week of a severe cough and cold, and I’ve lost my voice. But one of the great things about being a writer is that, actually, you never lose your voice: the printed word on the blank page IS your voice!

tractor trail muddy puddle field Strete.jpg

Those of you who are familiar with my writing will know that I love playing with words. So today I am going to share a couple of poems with you – one new, and one that I wrote a few years ago, but that was inspired by my feeling miserable and poorly with a virus. Writing it made me feel better. And if you have a bad cough or cold, then reading it might make you feel better, too.

The first poem first: I should explain that, when I was at school a zillion years ago, there were two words that were more or less banned from our writing. One was ‘got’ (still a word I don’t much like) and the other was ‘nice’. “There are always better words than nice,” teachers told us.

In all living languages words change their meaning. ‘Nice’ originally meant ‘precise’ or ‘refined’, so a ‘fine distinction’ (between two things) might be a ‘nice point’. Nowadays, it can mean anything from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘pleasant’ – or ‘very nice’ – highly enjoyable! It can be used to enhance another adjective – ‘nice and friendly’, too.

I found writing this poem quite nice!

A NICE WORD

Despite my teacher’s wise advice,
I do use ‘nice’ – I find it’s nice!
“Exciting adjectives add spice.
There’s often better words than nice.”

Yet ‘nice’ is useful – so precise!
It’s nice and nice to use it twice.
I daresay it’s a dreadful vice,
But as words go, well, ‘nice’ is nice.

And even when the weather’s sunny
(Although to you this might seem funny),
“Nice day!” I’ll say, because it’s … nice!
(Unlike a day of gales and ice).

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it twice:
I do use ‘nice’ – I find it nice,
Despite my teacher’s nice advice
that ‘nice’ adds little zest or spice.

© Celia Warren 2018

And here’s my other poem that I hope will strike a chord with any other sufferers from viruses that are not very nice!

VIRUS

Virus does right to begin with a V,
Virulent, violent, vile.
It crosses a virtual invisible line,
It’s wicked and wasting and wild.
V is for victory over each vein,
Each vestige of life it will visit with pain,
DNA-variant, vagabond, vice,
Vengeful, vindictive, a viper with verve,
Verminous, vomitive, cruel as ice,
Vigorous villain attacking each nerve.
I vehemently fight, but it’s vanquishing me:
Virus does right to begin with a V.

© Celia Warren 2018

As with all text and images on this site, copyright belongs to the author. You may only publish or reprint any poem, text or image with express permission from
Celia Warren.

Wishing time away, is not a good thing,
Yet I can’t help thinking Roll on Spring!

Wishing you a sunny month whatever the weather!

first snowdrop colour-popped.jpg