‘Old Photos’ by Jeni Rodger
It’s National Poetry Day on Thursday 2 October and we’d love you to help us celebrate! The theme this year is Remember, and we are asking for your lines and phrases of poetry on this subject to post on Facebook and Twitter throughout the day and publish on Young Poets Network.
Remembering is key for poets – you will all know how often we draw on events and emotions from our past to create poems. We also remember other poems we have read and the echo of their form and language can inspire us.
Young Poets Network invites you to write a line or two of poetry which captures the theme of remembrance in some way. Send in your lines and phrases and we will use one line from everybody who submits to post on Facebook and Twitter throughout National Poetry Day. We will also create a feature on Young Poets Network using everyone’s writing.
Writing your poem
You might like to think about some of these points:
If you are writing about a memory in the past, which details will you choose?
Does the memory especially engage a particular sense?
Will you use the phrase ‘I remember’ or will you get this across in another way?
Will you speak as an individual or as a larger group, remembering a common experience?
Is the memory in the past, or are you imagining how you will remember something in the future – or perhaps worrying that you will forget?
Is it possible to remember things as they actually happened, or does human nature get in the way?
For inspiration, look at how these poets have explored the theme of remembering:
“I gazed – and gazed – but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.”
In Wordsworth’s ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’, the importance of the daffodils is more intense in the speaker’s remembrance than when he actually first saw them.
“What are those blue remembered hills”
In AE Housman’s A Shropshire Lad, home is a vividly-evoked place to which the speaker cannot return.
“Yes. I remember Adlestrop”
Edward Thomas vividly conjures a hot, sound-filled summer’s day when his train stopped unexpectedly at Adlestrop station.
“If I should die, think only this of me”
In Rupert Brooke’s poem ‘The Soldier’, the speaker asks those who survive him to remember him in a particular way, using his own memories of his English childhood.
“What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?”
Wilfred Owen presents a very different kind of remembrance for dead soldiers, in ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’.
“And would it have been worth it, after all”
TS Eliot’s J Alfred Prufrock ties himself up in knots thinking about how he will remember things in the future, which is based on his memories of the past.
“Smells of baking remind me of you.”
Foyle Young Poet 2012 Phoebe Boswall’s poem ‘Baking’ is an elegy for her grandmother.
Submitting your work
Published September, 2014