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  • Louise Ellis-Barrett

A siren's song perhaps?


This morning I woke with a muse – why I have no idea but poetry takes us like that sometimes and so it was that on descending the stairs I found myself sitting with She is fierce. Brave, bold and beautiful poetry by women compiled by Ana Sampson and published by Macmillan.

Perhaps it was the simple but stunning red cover with orange lettering which had stuck in my memory, perhaps it was the thought of what might lay on those pages, the curiosity about these brave, bold, beautiful women, a question of what made them fierce.

Whatever the reason I sat and enjoyed a selection of the poems making me realize that poetry is not just for special days (I apologise to Macmillan for not managing to feature this one on National poetry day) but that it is actually for any day.

I am actually quite glad it did not feature in my National Poetry Day writings for I think it may have felt more forced. Today it feels natural and today I want to sit back relax and enjoy a poem or two. Today I want this feeling to continue, I want to enjoy a poem or two every few days.

I spend all my time (and I wouldn’t have it any other way) with books. Picture books. Chapter books. Books for teens. Books for adults. Non-fiction. Fiction. Very infrequently with poetry books. Poetry books fill our lives with stories and wonder in shortened forms, they leave much more to the imagination, they reach straight to the soul. I should read more ...

Randomly opening the book this morning took me to page 49 and a poem by Hannah More – From the Bas Bleu – how coincidental that it was a poem about the beauty of conversation, my other love in life! “thy true votaries never fail” she writes “sweet goddess of the social hour” these words, and the whole, short poem for me just capture a moment, a pure sweet moment of enjoyment and they made me smile.

I want to dip in some more, find more inspiration on these pages and I hope that you will follow my example. In celebration of 25 years of publishing poetry for children – a ground-breaking and bold move all those years ago – Macmillan hosted an evening of poetry where we mingled with the poets, enjoyed hearing them read their own selections of inspirational words and above all celebrated the power of the poem.

I hope that Macmillan, all their poets, and poets everywhere will never stop writing and compiling, urging us all into new worlds, making us all brave, bold, beautiful and maybe just a little bit fierce.

“Then you begin slowly to read the whole story” – Mary Oliver, Breakage

#Poetry #NationalPoetryDay #poems #femalepoets #poemsbywomen #MacmillanChildrensBooks #hannahmore #MaryOliver #AnaSampson #EmilyDickinson #MargaretAtwood #UrsulaBethell #VitaSackvilleWest #LucilleClifton #SelinaNwulu #SaraTeasdale #ColetteBryce #LizBerry #KateTempest

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