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A Poem a Day Keeps Old Age at Bay

October 31st, 2014

Tiger-tiger

First, thanks to Kelly for last Friday’s post. She provided five really valuable points to consider when you sit down to write a story. They seem so obvious, but you’d be surprised how many stories we receive for competitions and assignments that have failed to take one, or more, of these elements into account.

When I was a child we learned lots and lots of poems by heart at school (I’m giving my age away now, aren’t I?) and I can still remember many of them: Blake’s The Tiger, From a Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, Ode to Autumn by Keats … the list goes on and on. I enjoyed them then and I still enjoy them now.

So I was interested to hear that Dame Judy Dench keeps her mind active by learning a new poem or a new word each day. Not a bad idea! You’ve got to make an effort and get that grey matter working to learn a poem. So if you’re not into crosswords or sudoku it could provide the perfect alternative. And the great thing about it is that you don’t have to stick with the poems you grew up with – why not branch out and discover all the wonderful new talent that’s out there? There are some brilliant young poets on YouTube. Plus you don’t even need to learn the whole poem – I reckon a verse a day will keep old age at bay! And even if it doesn’t, you’ll have plenty of enjoyment going gently into that good night!

And while we’re still on the subject of poetry, The Caterpillar magazine has launched its first poetry prize for a single poem written for children aged seven to eleven. The entry fee is rather steep at €12 but the prize money is €1000 and the closing date is 31st March 2015. Full details are available at the website.

My guest next week is Kim Fleet who won 4th prize in our recent short story competition. She’ll be explaining how to sprinkle fairy dust over your short stories – something you might find useful if you plan to enter our current Flash Fiction Competition!

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