Video of Absent by Bernard Young

Just received a link today to this video we made a few years ago at a poets retreat. It was fun to make. I’d forgotten all about it.  Absent has been one of my most popular poems.

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‘Light’ Poems at Tithe Barn Primary School (Heaton Mersey, Stockport) on October 5th

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I spent a great morning with a fantastic Year 6 class and their poetry loving teacher. I performed some of my poems and then got them writing. We kept to the National Poetry Day theme of ‘Light’ (which complemented the work they’d been doing in science).

As their teacher regularly gets them writing poetry I found they needed very little stimulus. I began with a short exercise based on the senses (e.g. If you could taste light what would it taste of? If you could hear it and it spoke to you what would it say? One answer was I’m faster than you!).

I then gave them a few writing options and suggestions to trigger their poems.

Light Bulb Moment – If you had a bright idea what would it be? What might you invent?

Trick Of The Light – I thought it was a…..(table?, tree? )
But it was a….(dog?, ghost?)

Lights Out – When the light goes
What lurks in the shadows?

Before lunch we managed to hear their new poems and fitted in a Q/A session where they asked me about writing and my life as a poet. A very satisfying morning. Thank you Tithe Barn for such a warm welcome. I left feeling quite light-hearted.

Back to school after the Christmas break?

Walnut cake

Back To School?

Back to school after the Christmas break?
Finding it hard to stay awake?

The Head’s in her office, head on the desk
All she needs is a little more rest

But now’s the time to raise a smile
Into the hall, the kids all file

And though half term seems a long way off
There’s still cake in the staffroom that you can scoff

copyright notice

Bernard is available for workshops in schools, particularly primary age (KS1/KS2). He is based in Manchester, but happy to travel further afield. Over the years he’s also worked successfully in partnership with Road Safety officers combining the road safety message with creative writing. To book Bernard for a workshop in your school, see Contact page.

Image credit: “Luxembourg Vianden Nut-fair 10” by PlayMistyForMe – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Luxembourg_Vianden_Nut-fair_10.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Luxembourg_Vianden_Nut-fair_10.jpg

A Poem for Teachers Everywhere

Poem by Bernard Young for World Teachers Day

5th October is World Teachers’ Day. Here’s a poem for all the teachers out there.

Every Night Mr Miller Dreams

Every night Mr Miller dreams
of the day he will retire.
There’ll be a small party
in the staff room
during the lunch hour
and at final assembly
he’ll receive a major gift
from the whole school
plus presents
from individual pupils
who will be heartbroken
to see him leave.
Children, past and present
(some now grown up)
will file past to thank him
for being so inspirational
– for changing their lives.

In the evening
a large group of colleagues and friends
will take him out for drinks
and a meal.
There will be speeches
charting his impressive career
and praising his achievements.

He can’t wait.

Day two. Week one. First job.
A long way to go.

Every night Mr Miller dreams.

Poem by Bernard Young for World Teachers Day

Lesson Planning For Next Term? Inviting A Performance Poet To Your School?

Bernard Young in a school arms in air

A poet in your school? Why not? The right poet (I mean me! but there are lots of us) can offer an exciting start to your school day (I include guitar and just enough joining in during my morning assembly performances). The children head off to classes with loads of writing ideas already in their heads and I then work with all ages throughout the day.

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Teachers tell me that having an enthusiastic practitioner of the art in the classroom has a tremendous effect on them and the children. Together (teachers, children, poet) we produce fantastic new poems and usually share them before home time. After that we all go home (apart from the teachers who have yet another after-school meeting to attend).

For some ideas for bringing poetry in to the class room see my collection of blog posts on the subject – classroom ideas. Another way is to have a look at some of my videos on YouTube. They can be used for a sing along break during the day, or as a springboard for other poems using the same patterns. If you want to discuss what I could do in your school and what it will cost, please contact me.

A Watery Poem for National Poetry Day (3 October 2013)

In preparation for National Poetry Day, my friend, Karen, has recorded me reading one of my poems, Puddles in the Playground from Double Talk, and turned it into a video, and here it is.

National Poetry Day 3 October 2013

National Poetry Day is an annual event.  This year the theme is Water.

If you’re a teacher, there are resources available to help you think about what you could be doing with your class or school here: http://www.forwardartsfoundation.org/national-poetry-day/resources/lesson-plans/

Also information on the Poetry Society’s website here: http://www.poetrysociety.org.uk/content/info/npd/

Of course the way to really bring your lessons alive is to book a poet for the day.

Here’s a rondel from my book Wanted Alive, also available with a picture on blipfoto.com.

Something To Look Forward To

Someday the sun will shine.
We’ll step out and not get wet.
One day, but not just yet,
the weather will be fine.

That day will be yours and mine.
We’ll sunbathe. Joyfully sweat.
Someday the sun will shine.
We’ll step out and not get wet.

So don’t grumble. Don’t whine.
Don’t lose hope. Don’t fret.
Things will get better. You bet.

Look for an omen. A sign.
Someday the sun will shine.
We’ll step out and not get wet.

Poetry all year, please, not just for National Poetry Day!

Image of a closing down sale board uotside a shop

Closing Down

Haiku – in a bin
at the bottom of the aisle
next to the sonnets.

Limericks have had their day
It’s clear they’ve got nothing to say
Some find them rude
Vulgar and crude
They’re free if you’ll take them away

Free Verse is draped all over the shop.
Although it’s free
there is a modest charge
for each clump of words.

Cinquains
are down aisle five.
You can hear them counting
their syllables. Eight in this line.
Buy two?

Best Friends on YouTube

Absent on Youtube