National Poetry Day

October 2016
National Poetry Day
Mike Laskey
6th October 2016

Roses are reds,
Violets are blue,
We’ve got a blog full of poems,
To share with you!

Today is National Poetry Day, a nationwide celebration of the written, or spoken, verse. It’s a fun, but also important occasion. Poetry is a great way for children to learn language skills and express their emotions, and a good poem can be moving, powerful or funny – sometimes even all at once.

We’ve previously used poems in our campaigns to creatively communicate a concept, such as in our recent work with CityConnect.

To mark National Poetry Day, we asked a few of the Diva team to share their favourite poems or excerpts – and it turns out we’re a pretty poetic bunch. Do you love a particular poem or poet? Let us know by tweeting @DivaCreative. You can also download loads of free resources or find out more about poetry on the National Poetry Day website.

Steven, Creative Lead
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore –
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“Tis some visitor”, I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door –
Only this and nothing more.”

Steven: “I love Edgar Allan Poe – my little boy is actually named after him – and The Raven is a classic Gothic poem. With it now being October and Halloween looming, it seemed a timely choice.”

Zena, Senior Account Manager
Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage by Lord Byron

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.

Zena says: “I first came across this poem in the film Into the Wild, based on the true story of a man who abandoned his wealth to live a more authentic life off-grid in the Alaskan wilderness. The story really resonated with me and I felt like the poem accurately summed up the sentiment of the power of nature; while my days of backpacking are (mostly) behind me, I find there’s no better remedy to life’s woes than a long walk in the pathless woods.”

RM Colin Clarke ARPS, 2 72KB

Roger McGough

Gareth, Account Manager
A Water Bison by Roger McGough

water bison
is what
yer wash
yer face in.

Gareth says: “I had the book Imaginary Menagerie by Roger McGough when I was young, and this poem was one of my favourites. I think it started my love of wordplay and accents.”

Mike, Account Manager
My City by George the Poet

My city has a lot of faces
Some can be found in forgotten places
Comfortably sound with a lot of graces
The Sun could be down on this hungry town but in London he
found him a shot at greatness
My city has a lot of faces

Mike says: “Like much of George the Poet’s work, My City is a great example of how the spoken word can be used very emotively to make political, social and cultural statements. I love the use of rhythm and rhyme to paint a picture of a modern Britain that is truthful, critical and yet uplifting.”

Carol, Operations Manager
Peas and Honey by Ogden Nash

I eat my peas with honey;
I’ve done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny,
But it keeps them on the knife.

Carol says: “My nephews and niece loved to be read to when they were younger. This funny little poem always made them laugh!”

Maya Angelou. 'She was special, she was rare.'

Maya Angelou

Laura, Senior Account Manager
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Laura says: “To this day, the mention of the word ‘poetry’ gives me flashbacks to a GCSE anthology bursting with hastily scribbled notes – usually the teacher’s own interpretations that I frantically wrote down verbatim. But this is the one poem that has always stayed with me. Why? Because it has always made me feel something, in a way no other has before. It is provocative, strong, defiant. While Still I Rise is firmly rooted in the oppression of female African Americans, its relevance has a much wider reach, across race and gender, and it is a story of resilience that never fails to move me.”

Carly, Account Director
I Carry Your Heart With Me by E. E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

Carly says: “I think this, my absolute-favourite poem, is beautifully written. The way the author describes loves creates such amazing images that it’s hard not to feel moved by it (yes, I’m a bit of a romantic!). It’s a poem that means a lot me because it reminds me of special people in my life – I also read it for my sister and her husband at their wedding. It was a tough choice between this and a poem by the young poet Erin Hanson, which is really inspirational and, despite being short, has an awful lot of meaning. It is almost like a motto to me and sums up the importance of following your dreams.”

Bex, Account Executive
Algy Met A Bear by Anon

Algy met a bear,
A bear met Algy,
The bear was bulgy,
The bulge was Algy.

Bex says: “This is my little brother’s favourite poem – he finds it hilarious and will often recite it over and over!”

By Mike Laskey