21 March 2024

World Poetry Day 2024

Thursday 21 March is World Poetry Day, and Chapter One team members celebrate by sharing their favourite poems

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World Poetry Day is a United Nations awareness day that was introduced in 1999, with the aim of promoting the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry. Poetry provides a strong foundation for reading, as rhyming can help readers to identify the sounds in words and build vocabulary. Poetry also encourages creativity, and can help to create new relationships between words and sounds. At Chapter One, we believe that every child is a reader, however they choose to do it, and some children may find reading a poem less intimidating than reading a story, especially at the start of their reading journey. To celebrate World Poetry Day, our team has shared their favourite poems.

Davina Ramen, Programme Manager - London

I have so many favourite poems to choose from, but one of my special ones is entitled 'What if the Underground had transport for Rabbits and Woodlice'. This one is special because I sat on the floor surrounded by colouring pencils and toys as my daughter then aged 7 scribbled down her words onto brightly coloured paper! It was later published in the Love Cannon poetry competition as a runner up in 2018.

Kathryn Taylor, Schools Development Manager

I loved the poem 'Please Mrs Butler' by Allan Ahlberg as a child as we had a teacher at school called Mrs Butler and my 7 year old self found it hilarious that this poem was called 'Please Mrs Butler!' When I was teaching, I used to read it to my class because read aloud, it gives great opportunities to model expression and intonation.

Emma Bilsborough, Corporate Partnerships Officer

'Wild Geese' by Mary Oliver is a poem that always puts everything into perspective for me. I love Mary Oliver's poems and how they teach you to look at nature & the world and enjoy the simple beauty of it all. I have this poem in mind a lot at the moment with everything coming to life in the Spring.

Scott Matthewman, Senior Full Stack Developer

'“Hope” is the thing with feathers' by Emily Dickinson is a great reminder that whatever situation we're facing, hope is always there with us.

Emma Bell, CEO

One of my favourite poems is 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes. It's the first poem I learnt off by heart and I had to say it in front of the whole class, and I won a prize! So it has a special place in my heart as a result. I also love the drama of the story and the way he evokes the rhythm of horses' hooves with his choice of language and rhyming scheme.

Christina Pembrey, Programme Manager - East Sussex

I love poems, especially (children's) books that are written as poems, so I have selected two. I have spent many bedtimes with my children over the last few years enjoying Shirley Hughes' book, "Out and About, A First Book of Poems". As we hopefully start to enjoy more Spring weather, I thought the above poem from this book was particularly apt.

The second is 'Leisure' by William Henry Davies - a real classic which I just love and feel the message is becoming more and more important as our lives become busier and busier:

Chris Collins, Programme Manager - Middlesbrough

My favourite poem at the moment is 'Ozymandias' by Percy Bysshe Shelley. A poem written over 200 years ago which is as relevant today as it was then.

Sarah Taylor, Business Development Manager

My favourite poem is 'Dust if You Must' by Rose Milligan. It really sums up my feelings about doing the cleaning i.e. I can always find something more interesting to do!

Isabel Davies, Social Media and Communications Officer

My favourite poem is 'The Orange' by Wendy Cope. I love how simple it is, how it encapsulates the love we have for our friends and just how wonderful life can be. It always makes me smile.

Julie Bennett, Evidence and Impact Manager

I like 'Accepting The Differences' by Audrey Heller and it stands out to me - especially during this very week which is Neurodiversity Celebration week and the upcoming Autism Acceptance Day (2 April 2024).

Rebecca Hewitt, Marketing and Communications Manager

One of my favourites is 'Tarantella' by Hilaire Belloc. My big sister is called Miranda and as a young child I was thrilled that a poem could mention her! I was also drawn to the rhythm and enthralled by the idea of this magical far off place.

It all starts with literacy.