Tag Archives: poetry

There is a light. How poetry is helping us find hope this week in Manchester

I teach English in an inner-city Manchester school. It’s been a tough week. Monday night’s terrorist attack created a backdrop of sirens, questions and uncertainty. Our school is as diverse as the wider city, we have a palette of pupils from … Continue reading

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Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books, But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.

The ghost of William Shakespeare to a pupil who accidentally conjures him whilst frantically writing an essay at 3 o’clock in the morning: “Don’t wrap me up in the chains of your poxy writing frames or pick at my remains … Continue reading

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Fourth Generation Verbs

A poem about ancestry and the distances between us, inspired by Tony Walsh I never really thought about my own Irish ancestry, growing up in Manchester. You didn’t really have to. It was everywhere; from the surnames in the register … Continue reading

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Syrian Snow

Syrian snow lands on homes, roofless bones of brick. It lands on barbed wire fences, photographed in yesterday’s news. Syrian snow falls on the boats of those whose only chance is to go. It lands in Greece, in Munich, in … Continue reading

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Fantastico: In Praise of Longfella and Project-Based Learning

Poetry, as I explained to the class, was never a real thing for me, as a schoolkid. For us, poets didn’t exist. They lived only in dusty books on that shelf of the library that nobody could reach. So, to … Continue reading

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Calcium 

Today is Manchester Day. This is a poem I wrote about the way the city stays with you, even (as in this case) as you leave it, it will draw you back.    

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A Wave

     A Wave I look down at the line that the tide has left, darkening the pebbles as it retreats back into its unlocked line of defence. The dry stones are almost white, salt bleached, amnesiac. The wet ones … Continue reading

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