Poetry is life with line-breaks – a personal matter – and I hope that this six poem mixtape I’ve chosen will resonate with you. This guided tour shall be filled to the brim with hapless word-beauty and the panic of my too-frequent tricolons.
You Were Wearing Blue
by Tom Raworth
The simple, lower-case loveliness of this poem is enveloping. I love the way it spreads out on the page, like fingers against the sky. For me, the presentation of poetry is nearly as important as the content. ‘listen you said i / preferred to look’ Raworth tells us, and with ‘You Were Wearing Blue’ I think it’s best to do both. A Sloping Pitch
by Patrick Brandon
I found this trailing through the Poetry Archive’s themes section, hidden under the lonely ‘camping’ tag. Oh, the metaphors in this poem. Gas burners described as splaying neat blue petals? Snoring tearing long strips in the dark? The yaw of the ground? The words are so substantial that I could eat them. You should try it. The Shout
by Simon Armitage
There isn’t much to say about this poet that already hasn’t been said by someone else, in better words. But from the first time I ploughed through my GCSE poetry anthology, I couldn’t help but find him rather magical. Splendiferous, even. ‘The Shout’ encapsulates Simon Armitage’s …Simon Armitage-iness in its natural habitat. Hotel Emergencies
by Bill Manhire
The word ostinato that is built up throughout the poem is hypnotic and hysterical and helpless. Its rather fantastic backstory really gathers the different elements together. Bill Manhire’s tone is an incredible supplement to his verse and the relentlessness of all the sounds of the poem. Station
by Li-Young Lee
This poem particularly demonstrates the wonderfulness of the Poetry Archive and the joy of poetry being read aloud, I feel. Li-Young Lee’s voice is an American-accented duvet; just leave your emotional, physical, biological baggage with him and let oceans of imagery breathe on you, accomplishing a lullaby that reading it never could. Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf
by Roald Dahl
For our last stop, passengers who have boarded at either end of childhood are sure to enjoy this wondrous poem by Roald Dahl. When I discovered Revolting Rhymes in my primary school library, aged about eight, it revolutionised my life. I think this poem should serve as a reminder to us all when we’re busy taking things too seriously that things shouldn’t be serious. In fact, we should all have a break and read ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ again. And on that exquisite note, please enjoy the Poetry Archive.
Sherrie is 16 and lives in Maidenhead, a place name which meant something completely different in Shakespearean times. Sherrie started her love of poetry with nursery rhymes, and then moved on. Sherrie was one of the Top Fifteen Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2010 for her poem 'nobody ever wins, nobody ever loses'. Sherrie plays piano and loves coloured paperclips and Roman numerals. Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is free to enter and open to anyone aged 11-17. With over 20,000 poems entered last year, the competition and quality remains as fierce as ever. This year’s judges are Imtiaz Dharker and Glyn Maxwell. To enter this year's competition and for more info go to: 'Foyle Young Poets' www.foyleyoungpoets.org. Deadline is the 31st July 2011.