Category Archives: Literature

20 Years Of Harry Potter

Hey guys!

Can you believe it’s June?! 2017 is absolutely flying by; I can barely keep up. However, this month holds a special anniversary. On June 26, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will turn 20 years old. I genuinely cannot believe that this life changing book was published 20 years ago. 


I remember being 7 years old and when I first read this book. As soon as I started it, I wanted to be a part of it. I was a geeky little kid who wished so much to be able to go to Hogwarts. I wanted to be in Gryffindor, I wanted to learn spells and be best friends with Hermoine. 

I loved reading anyway as a child but this showed me at quite a young age how special books are. It’s something I try and promote every day in my classroom. 

To mark this occasion, Bloomsbury have published amazing versions of The Philosopher’s Stone in house colours. If you’re an avid fan you would have been sorted on the Pottermore website, I know for sure I have! It was this house I brought today: Gryffindor. 


I absolutely love it. In fact, I have no embarrassment in saying just how excited I was to see them. VERY EXCITED indeed. 

Growing up with this book, like millions others, means that I feel it is a part of me. It shaped me as a child. It taught me to be tolerant and dream big. Anything is possible of course. 

The Gryffindor copy is lovely. It’s black with the red crest on the front with the key characteristics of those in this house: courage, bravery, determination. The edging matches the house colours. Very fetching for any bookshelf indeed! 



I love it. I absolutely will have to get the other houses. You can’t just have the one can you?! Ah Ms Rowling, what a fabulous lady you are indeed. What an indescribable thing you have created. 


Big love xx

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Filed under Harry Potter, Literature

Beatrix Potter – 150 Years Young



Today marks a special date in the literary world. It is the 150th birthday of the one and only Beatrix Potter. The legacy she leaves behind is remarkable. She was a keen writer, illustrator and sheep farmer. Her beautiful house is available to look around. It is as she left it, with her nick-nacks placed as she wished. The National Trust are looking after her property and grounds now. 

To celebrate, a few weeks ago I found this lovely looking book from a National Trust shop. I can’t wait to learn more about the books I loved growing up. There are some beautiful photos in this book too. 


There have already been special coins by Royal Mint released earlier this year to mark this occasion. I’ve been on the look out but I’m yet to find one! I’ll definitely keep trying though! (Images below from Google) 


Today, the Royal Mail have released new stamps as well to celebrate this amazing woman. They are so cute! I will have to get myself a set of these. (Image from Google) 


So, I’ve been thinking about how I can mark this birthday in my own way, in a way that’s special to me. I’d love to visit her house, but the chances of that are quite unlikely due to distance. Therefore, I’ve decided that this summer I am going to read my favourite Beatrix Potter stories, in the garden, in the sunshine. There’s no bigger tribute that I can give as one person. Without people reading her stories, her legacy would have died long ago. Let’s keep the magic alive. 


A hearty thanks to Beatrix. You’ve made many a childhood more exciting and adventurous. You’ve made children love the outdoors and animals. I have vast memories of reading these stories at my Grandma’s house as a youngster. 

Finally, it’s important to remember this:


Beatrix Potter lovers out there, what are you doing to mark such a special birthday? Have you been lucky enough to get one of the 50p coins yet? 

Big love all xx

19 Comments

Filed under Beatrix Potter, Birthday, Children's Literature, Literature, National Trust

The Top 20 Most Read School Books

Hey guys! 
I apologise for vanishing recently. Exam season is well underway, but, there’s only one English exam left. There’s nothing much else I can do on that front, but I am avoiding the fact that I have a 12 mile sponsored walk on Friday… So, whilst I had a spare five minutes I stumbled across this list of the Top 20 Most Read School Books. I saw this on the Independent website. (Top 20 Most Read School Books) This is a really interesting list. 

2000 adults were asked their favourite books from school. Thus, this list was created. 

As an English teacher, these sorts of lists really interest me. Also, there’s always a lot of talk about specific texts that all children should be reading and studying at school. In the UK everything has changed again recently regarding what should be studied for GCSE and A Level and there are new texts that we need to cover. I only wonder what this list will be like in 5 or 10 years time. 

I wanted to take this time to discuss these books and when I first experienced them. I’m really interested to see your relationships with these books too. 


The Top 20 Most Read School Books:

1. Animal Farm – George Orwell

I first read Animal Farm 3 years ago and wondered what it was really all about. I didn’t get it. I studied Russian history for A Level and that truly confused me. There were so many names to remember! But, on my next reading I saw what the fuss was really about. It’s a gripping and quite a challenging read. It’s a book that makes me feel so sad actually. 



2. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

Oh boy I love this book. I love love love it. It’s absolutely brilliant. It’s also slightly heartbreaking. It contains some of the most prolific characters in fiction. I have no idea when I first read this, but I always recommend it for people to read. 

3. Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Confession time… I’ve never read this book. It is on my TBR pile (along with 54298274657 others…) However, I have a feeling I’ll need to read this book this summer as its on our Year 7 schemes of work! I also have to confess I don’t know too much about it. *hangs head in shame*

4. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

This has to be one of my favourite books ever. I’ve loved teaching it earlier this year as well. It’s a huge shame that it’s been cut from all of the GCSE specifications. I genuinely believe that this is one of those books that everyone needs to read. You learn something from it each time you read it. I first read this as a fresh faced 15 year old at school. I can remember how I felt at the time. I can’t believe this book has been a part of my life for 10 years. 

5. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontè

Now I came to read this book as an A level student and my mind was blown. I found it really difficult to understand who was narrating when. I had to write it at the top of every chapter. Once you get past the complexity, you get carried away with the plot. I can never think of this book without thinking of Kate Bush…

6. Macbeth – William Shakespeare

I’m on a bit of a Macbeth overload at the minute because I’m teaching it to 3 classes! But, there is a reason as to why it is so popular. It’s just as popular today as it was in Shakespearean times. Lady Macbeth is one of my favourite all time female characters. She’s absolutely fascinating. 

7. Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare 

Ahhh Rom & Jules. My year 11s had their exam on this today. Just like them, this was a text I studied for my GCSEs. Everyone wants to meet their great love in their lives. I certainly did when I first read this. The Leonardo Di Caprio film certainly helped! I’m not sure on this great love thing now. Hmmm. Anyway, another classic that will probably outlive us all. 

8. A Midsummer’s Night Dream – William Shakespeare

I’m loving the amount of Shakespeare here. I realise it’s not everyone’s cup of tea though. However, this play is a lot of fun. It’s one that I came to much later in life, probably around 3 years ago. I saw a production in Stratford and it was magical. It contains one of my favourite quotes too: “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” 

9. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck 

Another amazing novel and also the second part to my lovely year 11s exam today. It’s utterly devastating. It’s exploration of hope and dreams, friendship and trials it’s so detailed for such a little novel. The ending always makes me cry. Emotional times right there…

10. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

I remember reading this as a little girl. I picked it up in a book shop because it had my name on it. However, I remember feeling ridiculously scared when the spider came along. Varied memories for this one really! I was young though and I’ve not read it since. I do think I’ll read this again someday. It’s an interesting one on the list I think! 

11. Dracula – Bram Stoker 

Oh dear. I’m really not so good with scary books and for me this was terrifying! I read it for the first time last year (avoided it at university) as I was teaching it! It was awful. Thankfully my class were amazing and listened to my nightmares based on this book. They seemed to enjoy it though which is the main thing. It just isn’t my kind of book. I really don’t want to teach or read this again! 

12. An Inspector Calls – J.B. Priestley

Oh wow this little play is absolutely cracking. I LOVE it. I really need to see it on stage. I only discovered this a few years ago and it just left me thinking “WHAT?!” So I read it again. I’ve loved teaching it as well. I couldn’t recommend this highly enough. It will literally keep you on the edge of your seat. 

13. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Frankenstein was on one of my reading lists at university. I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t even heard of it! But, what I find fascinating is that this is written by a woman during a very masculine era. Again, I would say this is quite scary because of what it stands for. I’ll be teaching this next year so I need to re-read this again! 

14. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy 

Now… Another confession. I’ve never completely read all of this book. I’ve tried a number of times but it’s always defeated me! I’m a huge Hardy fan. It takes me back to my A levels, but this one just may be a little out of my zone. I will get there one day. I just think you have to be in a particular mood to read this. Maybe I’m just not smart enough! Haha. 

15. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

Another book I’ve started and not finished. I think I started this athe wrong time. Not got too much to say, but maybe I’ll read it? I could do with knowing more about it really! Let me know what it’s about if you know. 

16. The Great Gatsby – F.Scott Fitzgerald

Oh I love this book. It’s one of my all time favourites. It’s amazing. If I’m ever in a bit of a reading slump I always turn to this book. It’s a healer. It makes me feel a whole host of emotions from love to rage and everything in between. I love the closing lines too: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past.” You just can’t beat it. 

17. Much Ado About Nothing – William Shakespeare 

I’m loving the amount of Shakespeare on this list I have to say. This isn’t one of the plays that stands out as being most popular to me really, but, it has its own merits of course. It’s not my favourite and it isn’t one I’d rush to see. I’ve read it but I can’t remember too much about it. I guess that says it all really…



18. The Colour Purple – Alice Walker 

Oh this upsets me so much. I’ve never been able to finish it. I’ve tried to read this so many time and I’ve always failed. I just find it so sad. It’s a really sensitive novel by a fantastic writer. I do feel like a bit of a failure for not finishing it. I genuinely will try to at some point in my life. 

19. Journey’s End – R.C. Sherrif 

Another book I’ve never read, but my best friend has. The other English group to mine when I was in school studied this book and my group studied TKAM. I remember her complaining…but all teenagers do! The war setting will probably make me very emotional, but I will give it a go one day. Again, anyone who knows anything about this, let me know! 



20. Others – miscellaneous. 

‘Others’ got 20.7% of the vote, yet it’s not exactly specified which book that is. I’ve no idea what this means! I wish we were told… There could be a number of options here. What about Hamlet? Or a more modern text: Holes? I guess this one is up to us! 

In summary:

  • I’ve read 14 out of the 20 
  • I’ve attempted 3 out of the 20
  • I plan to read the remaining 5

What about you? What did you love when you were at school? I feel so lucky that some of these books have been a part of my life for 10 or more years. It’s really unbelievable. Yet, I’ve learned there’s always something to be read. The TBR list really is never ending. 

Have a great evening all! 

Big love xx

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Filed under Books, Literature

The Bath & Body Works Tag

  

Hey guys! 

Hope you’re all good on this Monday evening. I had a little window of spare time, so I decided I would catch up on some tags. Thanks for the lovely Arec @ Rainy Thursday’s and the lovely Breeanna Pierce for thinking of me for this tag. 

I must admit this looks really interesting, and I’ve tried to think of different books this time too. Hope you enjoy darlings! 


Pure Paradise – a book that was pure perfection. 

For me, a book that has recently been pure perfection was Vanessa Greene’s The Seafront Tea Rooms. When life gets a little busy, what you need is a lovely, quick read. Or I do at least. This ticked that box for me. 

  

Sweet Pea – a romance/contemporary you really enjoyed. 

Definitely not contemporary and more of a tragedy, but the romance within Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is the love to conquer all loves. It’s the love we all wish for, minus the outcome of course. Also, this is my nudge to the celebrations of this upcoming weekend. 

  

Fresh Strawberries – a book you really enjoyed that came out this year. 

Well, I’m cheating for this one because I don’t have an answer. BUT, I know this is being released in July and I know it will be awesome. BOOM. 

  

Warm Vanilla – a character and/or book that made you all warm inside. 

Oh, I absolutely adore The Hungry Caterpillar. It reminds me of my childhood: the colours, the food, the magic. It’s one of the first books I remember reading with my parents. I still love it and I still talk about it. Ah, memories. 

  

Paris Amour – a couple you majorly ship together. 

I’m tapping into my love of classics here: Cathy and Heathcliff. Shame he’s a baddie. 

  

Dancing Waters – a book that takes place on the beach/the perfect beach read. 

Oh summers past. I love decriptions of summers in the country. It reminds me of my lovely grandparents house. These are definitely present in Cider With Rosie. It’s the type of description that takes you with it, you have absolutely zero choice. Magical. 

  

I Heart Cake (&Books) – your favourite book. 

There are many answers to this and for followers who have been around for a while, you know that my natural response is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. However, I’m being good and thinking of different answers. Another favourite author of mine is Jean Rhys. She absolutely breaks my heart. Sadly, she didn’t get famous until after she died so she never knew how talented she was. 

  
Winter Candy – a book set during Christmas or winter. 

I have to read Dickens in the winter. It’s something about the descriptions of the fires and cooking I think. My natural initial reaction to this has to be his Christmas stories. Bliss. 

  

Beautiful Day – a book with an unusual/interesting/appealing setting. 

An appealing setting for me is somewhere I can imagine. I LOVE Mary Elizabeth Lucy’s memoirs, based at Charlecote Park. I love this house and the grounds are beautiful. I’ve posted some of my photos from here in the past on my blog. I just adore it. Despite being from the Victorian period, The stories live and breathe on because we can see their house as it was. 

  
Dazzling Diamonds – a beautiful front cover. 

I’m a sucker for a beautiful cover and this one is amazing. 
  

Now, because I’m so slow at taking part in this, I think everyone has already done it. Therefore, I’m not tagging anyone specifically. However, if you’ve missed it and fancy taking part, go for it! Let me know how you get on and what you think. 

Big love everyone! Have a great week. X

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Filed under Literature, Tag

The Book SacrificeTag 

Hey guys! 

So, as you all know I’m pretty terrible at keeping up with book tags. I do have a little notebook where I’ve written them all down, so stick with me and they’ll get done eventually! Today’s tag looks great fun. Thanks to the lovely wonderful Orang utan Librarian for thinking of me to take part. 

Here goes! (Warning – may cause controversy. I genuinely don’t want to offend anyone!) 


1. An Over-Hyped Book:- 

Situation: You’re in a store when the zombie apocalypse hits. The military informs everyone that over-hyped books are the zombies only weakness. What book that everyone else says is amazing but you disliked do you start chucking at the zombies?

I’m not so good on the whole hype thing. I tend to shy away from it. I got lucky with Harry Potter because I was riding that wave just as it was getting huge or I dread to think what could have happened! 

Nevertheless, a book that was overhyped for me has to be Twilight. I was 17 when this was first published and I was never really into that genre anyway, but it seemed (or felt like) it was all I saw, heard about and all I knew about for ages. The sad thing: I didn’t want to know. At 17 I would have been studying for my A Levels, reading fiction that changed my life. This did not rock my boat at all. And then the films came out… *sigh* 

  

2. A Sequel:- 

Situation: torrential downpour. What sequel are you willing to use as an umbrella to protect yourself?

Sequels are always a risky business, especially when you love the first so much. Personally, a dodgy sequel for me was The Marvellous Land of Oz. Now, what is wrong with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? Dorothy has gone (no chequered dress – outrageous) and we have Tip as a main character, who wants to overthrow the Scarecrow who has ruled over the Emerald City post The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Excuse me?! 

What else could they possibly need to do in the second novel that they failed to achieve in the first. I know – drama that doesn’t really matter. 

Also, there was a movie made of this too, where controversially, Dorothy is returned, the plot completely altered and they change the colour of her shoes from red to silver. Why?

  

3. A Classic:-

Situation: You’re in English class and your professor raves about a Classic that “transcends time”. If given the opportunity to travel back in time, which Classic would you try to stop from ever publishing?

This is quite hard for me because I love my classics and I would happily travel back in time to experience them first hand, especially Victorian times. However, I do really dislike Ulysses. What is the point?! It’s so big and nothing really happens. I remember a description of a toilet scene. Marvellous. 

I’m well aware that people LOVE this book. It’s modernist fiction in its prime. It’s just not for me. 

  

4. A Least Favourite Book:- 

Situation: apparently global warming = suddenly frozen wasteland. Your only hope of survival for warmth is to burn a book. Which book will you not regret lighting?

I find it really sad that we all have books we just don’t like. But, it’s like everything. For me, my least favourite book of all time (so far because I’ve not read everything and I’m ignoring the obvious 50 Shades of absolute s***!) has to be Paper Towns. The suicide in the park, the selfish Margo and the lovesick follower, Quentin. Not for me today thanks. NB: I didn’t even bother with the film for this one. 

Again, I realise that people loved this. It’s clearly advertised as a New York Times best seller. I’m glad someone enjoyed it. 

  

Now, this was quite difficult for me because I’m a positive person and I don’t like to rock the boat. However, I feel better for having a bit of a book based rant. So, I’m nominating some of my favourite, lovely bloggers to take part in the sacrificing so I don’t feel bad on my own! 

Claire @ Art and Soul

Amy @ Curiouser and Curiouser

Liam @ Liam’s Library

Kim @ By Hook or By Book

Nicola @ Rust and Stardust

Calliope @ The Book Goddess

Lauren @ Driftinglexi

The Lonely Author Blog

Melanie Noell Bernard

Ashley @ Dreaming Through Literature

As ever – use/ignore as you see fit. 

Big love! X 

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Filed under Literature, Tag

Penguin Little Black Classics – 46 New Titles

  

Hi everyone! 

Hope you’re all wonderful on this Thursday morning. 

I’ve kind of spoilt this post by the title – bit of a giveaway! Nevermind. But, Penguin have released 46 new titles to their Little Black Classic collection. Some of you may remember I bought all my year 11 students a copy of The Yellow Wallpaper from this collection last year. Therefore, I wanted investigate and to buy more of these to add to my original collection. I thought you’d all like to see too! (If you haven’t done so already of course.) 

I was very excited yesterday as I was able to pick up my latest titles from my local Waterstones. I’ve got one outstanding – Oscar Wilde’s Only Dull People Are Brilliant At Breakfast which I’m waiting patiently for. Oh Oscar. Anyway… 

I love the fact that they really are affordable fiction; small snapshots into a variety of literary worlds by a selection of fascinating writers. There’s a number of writers that I know nothing about, or have even heard of, and these little gems are a perfect way of reading new things you may be unsure of. 

The latest ones are a little more expensive than the original 80 at 80p (at £1-£2 each) but they are also a tad larger. Bonus: more reading material. 

  

I may set myself a challenge of reading them all, but this may be unrealistic. Some aren’t my cup of tea at all. Nevertheless, I may give it a bash. What do you think?

The complete collection of Little Black Classics are now as follows: 

  • Mrs Rosie and the Priest GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO
  • Bawdy tales of pimps, cuckolds, lovers and clever women from the fourteenth-century Florentine masterpiece The Decameron.
  • As kingfishers catch fire GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
  • The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-tongue
  • On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts THOMAS DE QUINCEY
  • Aphorisms on Love and Hate FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE
  • Traffic JOHN RUSKIN
  • Wailing Ghosts PU SONGLING
  • A Modest Proposal JONATHAN SWIFT
  • Three Tang Dynasty Poets
  • On the Beach at Night Alone WALT WHITMAN
  • A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees KENKO
  • How to Use Your Enemies BALTASAR GRACIÁN
  • The Eve of St Agnes JOHN KEATS
  • Woman Much Missed THOMAS HARDY
  • Femme Fatale GUY DE MAUPASSANT
  • Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls MARCO POLO
  • Caligula SUETONIUS
  • Jason and Medea APOLLONIUS OF RHODES
  • Olalla ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
  • The Communist Manifesto KARL MARX & FRIEDRICH ENGELS
  • Trimalchio’s Feast PETRONIUS
  • How a Ghastly Story Was Brought to Light by a Common or Garden Butcher’s Dog JOHANN PETER HEBEL
  • The Tinder Box HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
  • The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows RUDYARD KIPLING
  • Circles of Hell DANTE
  • Of Street Piemen HENRY MAYHEW
  • The nightingales are drunk HAFEZ
  • The Wife of Bath GEOFFREY CHAUCER
  • How We Weep and Laugh at the Same Thing MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE
  • The Terrors of the Night THOMAS NASHE
  • The Tell-Tale Heart EDGAR ALLAN POE
  • A Hippo Banquet MARY KINGSLEY
  • The Beautifull Cassandra JANE AUSTEN
  • Gooseberries ANTON CHEKHOV
  • Well, they are gone, and here must I remain SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE
  • Sketchy, Doubtful, Incomplete Jottings JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
  • The Great Winglebury Duel CHARLES DICKENS
  • The Maldive Shark HERMAN MELVILLE
  • The Old Nurse’s Story ELIZABETH GASKELL
  • The Steel Flea NIKOLAY LESKOV
  • The Atheist’s Mass HONORÉ DE BALZAC
  • The Yellow Wall-Paper CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN
  • Remember, Body… C.P. CAVAFY
  • The Meek One FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY
  • A Simple Heart GUSTAVE FLAUBERT
  • The Nose NIKOLAI GOGOL
  • The Great Fire of London SAMUEL PEPYS
  • The Reckoning EDITH WHARTON
  • The Figure in the Carpet HENRY JAMES
  • Anthem for Doomed Youth WILFRED OWEN
  • My Dearest Father WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
  • Socrates’ Defence PLATO
  • Goblin Market CHRISTINA ROSSETTI
  • Sindbad the Sailor
  • Antigone SOPHOCLES
  • The Life of a Stupid Man RYŪNOSUKE AKUTAGAWA
  • How Much Land Does A Man Need? LEO TOLSTOY
  • Leonardo da Vinci GIORGIO VASARI
  • Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime OSCAR WILDE
  • The Old Man of the Moon SHEN FU
  • The Dolphins, the Whales and the Gudgeon AESOP
  • Lips too chilled MATSUO BASHŌ
  • The Night is Darkening Round Me EMILY BRONTË
  • To-morrow JOSEPH CONRAD
  • The Voyage of Sir Francis Drake Around the Whole Globe RICHARD HAKLUYT
  • A Pair of Silk Stockings KATE CHOPIN
  • It was snowing butterflies CHARLES DARWIN
  • The Robber Bridegroom BROTHERS GRIMM
  • I Hate and I Love CATULLUS
  • Circe and the Cyclops HOMER
  • Il Duro D. H. LAWRENCE
  • Miss Brill KATHERINE MANSFIELD
  • The Fall of Icarus OVID
  • Come Close SAPPHO
  • Kasyan from the Beautiful Lands IVAN TURGENEV
  • O Cruel Alexis VIRGIL
  • A Slip under the Microscope H. G. WELLS
  • The Madness of Cambyses HERODOTUS
  • Speaking of Śiva
  • The Dhammapada
  • Lady Susan JANE AUSTEN
  • The Body Politic JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU
  • The World is Full of Foolish Men JEAN DE LA FONTAINE
  • The Sea Raiders H.G. WELLS
  • Hannibal LIVY
  • To Be Read at Dusk CHARLES DICKENS
  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich LEO TOLSTOY
  • The Stolen White Elephant MARK TWAIN
  • Tyger, Tyger WILLIAM BLAKE
  • Green Tea SHERIDAN LE FANU
  • The Yellow Book
  • Kidnapped OLAUDAH EQUIANO
  • A Modern Detective EDGAR ALLAN POE
  • The Suffragettes
  • How To Be a Medieval Woman MARGERY KEMPE
  • Typhoon JOSEPH CONRAD
  • The Nun of Murano GIACOMO CASANOVA
  • A terrible beauty is born W.B. YEATS
  • The Withered Arm THOMAS HARDY
  • Nonsense EDWARD LEAR
  • The Frogs ARISTOPHANES
  • Why I Am so Clever FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE
  • Letters to a Young Poet RAINER MARIA RILKE
  • Seven Hanged LEONID ANDREYEV
  • Oroonoko APHRA BEHN
  • O frabjous day! LEWIS CARROLL
  • Trivia: or, the Art of Walking the Streets of London JOHN GAY
  • The Sandman E. T. A. HOFFMANN
  • Love that moves the sun and other stars DANTE
  • The Queen of Spades ALEXANDER PUSHKIN
  • A Nervous Breakdown ANTON CHEKHOV
  • The Book of Tea KAKUZO OKAKURA
  • Is this a dagger which I see before me? WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
  • My life had stood a loaded gun EMILY DICKINSON
  • Daphnis and Chloe LONGUS
  • Matilda MARY SHELLEY
  • The Lifted Veil GEORGE ELIOT
  • White Nights FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY
  • Only Dull People Are Brilliant at Breakfast OSCAR WILDE
  • Flush VIRGINIA WOOLF
  • Lot No. 249 ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
  • The Rule of Benedict
  • Rip Van Winkle WASHINGTON IRVING
  • Anecdotes of the Cynics
  • Waterloo VICTOR HUGO
  • Stancliffe’s Hotel CHARLOTTE BRONTË

I’m off to enjoy my lovely little books. I may start with a little Nonsense from Edward Lear; perfect for a Thursday lunchtime. Thanks Penguin. 
  

Big love xx

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Filed under Literature, Little Black Classics

Happy World Poetry Day 2016! 

 

Hey guys! 

Today is World Poetry Day and there’s nothing I’d like to do more than celebrate with you all by sharing some amazing and inspirational quotes about poetry. Images are from Google for this post! Thanks Google. 

Poetry brings us all together. It enables people to feel like we are all experiencing and living through similar events and emotions. It has a habit of unifying us all together. 

  

The aim of today is to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry. Speaking as a teacher myself, I’m currently teaching Poetry From Other Cultures to my Year 8s and heavily promoting independent discovery and reading of poetry. There’s nothing more exciting than opening another world to them. We have a map on the wall, and we are pinning the different countries where the poems are from. Yet, we have learnt that the themes impact everyone, regardless of country. The language moves us to tap into our own emotions. 

  

Poetry is ever changing. Whilst perusing the internet today, I stumbled across an article about Robert Montgomery. He has been putting the written word out in a variety of physical public places in the form of poetry. This has become so popular, many are wanting his written word as tattoos. I found this image below. For some reason, deep within myself, this quote appealed to me. 

  

This is just one example of how poetry is being placed into the public eye in our own generation. Naturally, some won’t wish to have poetry so visibly in their eyesight. But, what we do need to acknowledge is the power of the written word. It can change your mood in an instant and it can ease some of the pain we may feel. 

  

To celebrate my love for World Poetry Day, I wanted to share with you one of my favourite poems. It makes me cry every time. It’s by Oscar Wilde. He wrote it during his time in prison for being a homosexual. Being the incredibly talented writer that he is, he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol, to help channel and survive his experience in prison. This is one of my favourite parts:

‘Dear Christ! the very prison walls 
Suddenly seemed to reel, 
And the sky above my head became 
Like a casque of scorching steel; 
And, though I was a soul in pain, 
My pain I could not feel.
I only knew what hunted thought 
Quickened his step, and why 
He looked upon the garish day 
With such a wistful eye; 
The man had killed the thing he loved 
And so he had to die.
Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard, 
Some do it with a bitter look, 
Some with a flattering word, 
The coward does it with a kiss, 
The brave man with a sword!

Some kill their love when they are young, 
And some when they are old; 
Some strangle with the hands of Lust, 
Some with the hands of Gold: 
The kindest use a knife, because 
The dead so soon grow cold.
Some love too little, some too long, 
Some sell, and others buy; 
Some do the deed with many tears, 
And some without a sigh: 
For each man kills the thing he loves, 
Yet each man does not die.’

So let’s celebrate poetry and the effect it has on us all. We can all ready the same poem around the world, and in that instant we are all connected. I hope you’ve all have a magical and very poetic World Poetry Day. 

Big love xx

  

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