Bridegroom, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet,
Lion, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet.
You have just read the opening lines of a 4,000 year old love poem! How cool is that?! It is called The Love Song For Shu-Shin, and was discovered in 1845 by archaeologist Austen Henry Layard in excavations of ancient Sumer (modern day Iraq)!
Poetry is as old as the written word — and probably much older; as old, perhaps, as language itself. The poetic use of words as a distinct art form is ancient, and continues to be as important to people in the 21st century as it was to kings and priestesses in ancient Mesopotamia.
Today — the first Thursday of October — is National Poetry Day; a day when the nation can come together to celebrate poems, poets, and poetry. The theme for this year’s National Poetry Day is “See It Like A Poet”.
To help you to learn more about poetry, we have put together a (far from exhaustive!) list of online poetry resources for you to take a look at! And who knows, perhaps you might feel like writing a poem or two yourself…?
National Poetry Day
The official National Poetry Day website has tonnes of articles, resources, activities and events, and is definitely worth checking out. The interviews with poets are especially interesting, such as this one with Benjamin Zephaniah on Why Poetry Day Matters.
The National Poetry Day organisation, in collaboration with the Forward Arts Foundation, are asking people to help “Map The Lockdown” via haiku! This project has really taken off, and has been covered by The Times and BBC 4!
Why not try writing your own lockdown haiku and sharing it on twitter with the #haiflu hashtag?
BBC Poetry Resource
The BBC Poetry Resource website has created lots of videos, articles and activities on poetry and has stuff for all ages, from little kids to young adults!
This website hosts thousands of poems for you to read, as well as articles about poetic forms and the lives of different poets. I have been reading about John Keats, Christina Rossetti, and Robert Browning on here lately. Interesting stuff…
Yale Open Course on Modern Poetry
Yale University offers loads of free online lectures, including this one on modern poetry! Free university-level education on modern poetry!? Don’t mind if I do…
Masterclass: Poetry For Beginners
The Masterclass website has put together a free list of top tips for beginner poets who would like a helping hand! Take a look, and then try writing something yourself!
What if you want to create your own poems, but you don’t really want to actually write anything? We’ve got you covered! Try playing around with this poetry generator, and get your own custom-made poem. Choose the type of poem you would like, then put in whatever words you can think of, and the website will generate a poem for you!
Here’s one we generated earlier….
Ode to the SGS LRC
A Sonnet by the SGS LRC Staff (…and the poetry generator…)
My stand out SGS LRC, you inspire me to write.
I love the way you help, read and assist,
Invading my thoughts day and through the night,
Always dreaming about the reserves list.
Let me compare you to a great clover?
You are more bookish, friendly, and awesome.
Strange storms whip the twiglets of October,
And autumntime has the plastic wassum*.
How do I love you? Let me count the ways.
I love your bright librarians and computer.
Wanting your books fills my days.
My love for you is the wary yeutter*.
Now I must away with a standing heart,
Remember my owed books whilst we’re apart!
*Nope. We have no idea what these words mean either. Perhaps we should write our own poems after all…