Tag Archives: poetry

Bringing the UN to tears with poetry

Poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner speaking and reciting at the UN Climate Leaders Summit 2014

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Tomorrow I must iron my shirt

Tomorrow I must iron my shirt
for it’s Friday
not dress-down Friday
nor casual Friday
untidy Friday
or Freaky Friday
cheeky Friday
Fish and chips
and deep fried
Mars Bar
greasy Friday
no indeed
it’s a crease-free
so tomorrow I must iron my shirt

Photo and words by Stephen Trinder 15th April 2014

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The thing in the fridge

004 copy (3)
We were very sorry to see you go
but there’s a thing in the fridge
and we just have to know
what it is

For science apparently
a sample we’re told
it’s possibly rotten and decidedly cold
what on earth will we do
if it comes back to life
we might have to find ourselves
some sort of knife

It looks rather meaty
it might have an eye
is it your dog’s food
or some sort of pie
we’d sort it ourselves
but we’re too scared to try
(though it doesn’t appear to be able to fly}

We’d said see you later
but we’ve changed our minds
since we looked in the fridge
to see what we’d find
there’s a thing wrapped in Gladwrap
that might be alive
please come back and see us and help us survive!

Words and photo by Stephen Trinder

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Spring is like a perhaps hand

Spring is like a perhaps hand

Friday August 16th is National Poetry Day in New Zealand. The poem by e.e.cummings seems appropriate for the air of possibility both at the University of Canterbury and in Christchurch City itself (being rebuilt after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes).
Photo by Stephen Trinder

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More thoughts on Poetry

Poems show us that we are both more and less than human, that we’re part of the chaos, and that everything is a part of everything else. Julia Casterton

Poetry speaks to something in us that so wants to be filled. it speaks to the great hunger of the soul. Lucille Clifton

A good poem is almost always about something else, which is why they are so hard to write. Charles Causley

A poem is an approach towards a truth. but poems can be funny, witty, quirky and sly. They can be mischievous, tricksterish. Their truths don’t sound like the truths of the courtroom or inquest. Does this, then, show us something about the nature of truth? Can we say there are many truths, or, rather, many aspects of Truth? That truth itself is a shape-shifter? Kathleen Jamie

Sometimes a poem can change people’s lives, strengthen and focus people’s beliefs. And if people can change, that can change the world. Adrian Mitchell

Of course poetry is irrelevant to the “real” world of power and politics, but so is philosophy, painting, music and any other human activity where something genuine can be found. Charles Simic

All of the above taken from Being Alive edited by Neil Astley Bloodaxe Books 2004



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Writers and Poets on Poetry and Writing

One should only read books which bite and sting one. If the book we are reading does not wake us up with a blow to the head, what’s the point in reading? A book must be the axe which smashes the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire ever can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. Emily Dickinson

Poetry; the best words in the best order. Coleridge

Poetry is the art of using words charged with their utmost meaning. Dana Gioia

It is a widening of consciousness, an extension of humanity. We sense an ideal version when we read, and with it arm ourselves, to quarrel with reality. David Constantine

Poems come out of wonder, not out of knowing. Lucille Clifton

A writer is not interested in explaining reality; he’s interested in capturing it.Brendan Kennelly

Poetry helps us to understand common things better…Poetry will not teach us how to live well, but it will incite in us the wish to. David Constantine

Poetry is a zoo in which you keep demons and angels. Les Murray

Poetry is a way of talking about things that frighten you. Mick Imlah

If I knew where poems came from, I’d go there. Michael Longley

All quotes above taken from the wonderful  STAYING ALIVE Real Poems for Unreal Times edited by Neil Astley (Miramax Books).

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. Dead Poets Society

Taken from the equally wonderful BEING HUMAN edited by Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books)

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Poems in the Waiting Room

I love Poems in the Waiting Room, it’s such a fantastic idea…free poetry for patients waiting for medical appointments, rest home residents waiting for meals, outings or appointments, hospice patients and their families and prison inmates.
Read about the original English version here :http://www.pitwr.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/1.html?submenu=0
Read about the New Zealand version here : http://waitingroompoems.wordpress.com/ 


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