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  • Writer's pictureAndy Bell

We challenge you to...

This Friday (1st October) is Ageing Well Day. Age Friendly Nottingham are holding an information event for people aged 55 and above to find out about what services, events and activities are on offer in the City.

We'll be there with information about ArtSpeak and our partner organisation Radford Care Group; come and see us if you're about and tell others about your experience with ArtSpeak. The event is taking place in the Market Square from 10:00 - 15:00.

Why not have a go at the activity we'll be providing and share with us what you do? We'd love to see it.

It's almost National Poetry Day - Let's celebrate!

This year's poetry day is on Thursday 7 October, and the theme is CHOICE

What poem will you choose to read to celebrate National Poetry Day?

Will you choose to have a go at writing your own poem? Do you choose to accept the following writing challenges?

- To get you started, spend some time considering the word CHOICE, what does it mean to you? Where does the word take you?

- Was there one choice you made that you think led to a turning point in your life?

- What choices did you make to get you to where you are today?

- Do you feel you still have the freedom to make your own choices?

- Where did you grow up? Did that shape the choices you’ve made in life?

- Has where you live had an impact on the choices you have made and continue to


- What choices have you already made today? This could be as simple as what you ate for breakfast or why you follow a certain routine.


This will help you to think about rhythm, pace and meaning of poetic lines.

FirstlySpend some time reading this poem out loud.

oh, man,

oh, man,

de caribbean woman

oh, man,

oh. man,

de caribbean woman

she doan fraid a de marchin beat

she doan care how he timin sweet

she doan care if she kill a man

jus doan mash up she plan

(Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze from Third World Girl: Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books)

Then consider -

Which is your favorite line in the poem and why?

Can you notice any interesting patterns, rhythms or beats in the lines? Tap the beat as you read it.

How do the lines help you to read the poem with rhythm?

Now have a go at turning the following text into a poem by breaking it into lines.

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies. Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, dare seize the fire?

(Originally William Blake, The Tyger 1794)

Then look at your our own writing – Either what you have written today or something you have written before.

Look at where you have chosen to end lines.

What words are at the end of your lines?

Are you happy with these choices?

Read your poem out loud and listen to the rhythm or beat.

Do your lines work with the rhythm?

Look at the length of your lines.

Are all the lines the same length?

What would happen if you cut some lines in half or even into 1- or 2-word lines?

(This exercise has been taken from The National Poetry Day teaching resources page.)

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