National Poetry Day
Members of the WCN team share the poems they turn to in times of need

Poetry can provide inspiration in times of need; we asked the WCN team to share their favourites.

Simon Jones – Digital Marketing Manager

The final six lines of Tennyson’s ‘Ulysses’; the finale is the perfect summation of not giving up, while acknowledging that everything is probably going to be quite difficult. Also, that being older is no excuse for anything.

Alice Kent – Communications Director

Severn Song’ by Philip Gross… I love the line ‘for a moment not doing, nor coming undone’ and it resonates a lot at the moment with two kiddies under three! I like to recite this poem loudly in the car when crossing the Severn Bridge on our annual family holiday to Wales…

Vicki Maitland – Programme Assistant

I like ‘He Tells Her’ by Wendy Cope – it’s short, sassy, and reminds me to take a deep breath when I’m caught in an argument cycle!

Florence Reynolds – Programme Assistant

God’s Grandeur’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘Meeting Point’ by Louis MacNeice, and pretty much anything by Denise Riley… a nice mix of devotion, agnosticism, and scepticism. Also Cat Woodward’s pamphlet Sphynx, forthcoming from Salò press, punched me in the gut just the other day.

Sam Ruddock – Programme Manager

Kei Miller’s ‘Notes Toward a Light Song of Light’ is one of those that always gets me.

Also the wonderful collection of poems that we featured as part of The Story Machine – Written in the Skin, which makes an interesting reading list:

  1. ‘In a bamboo shack on the edge of a beach’ by William Letford
  2. ‘Descender’ by Heidi Williamson
  3. ‘Yoga’ by Andrew McMillan
  4. ‘Beautiful Girls’ by Melissa Lee-Houghton
  5. ‘The Men are Weeping in the Gym’ by Andrew McMillan
  6. Sunshine by Melissa Lee-Houghton
  7. ‘A Gift’ by Andrew McMillan
  8. ‘Bodies’ by Miriam Gamble
  9. ‘Naked’ by William Letford

Laura Stimson – Programme Manager

At this time of year it seems fitting to go to Keats’ ‘To Autumn‘. A poem about endings, ultimately. That the world turns and everything goes on. I hear my dad’s voice when I read this poem; he has always learnt poems by heart. To a contemporary ear, possibly verging on sentimental, but I’ve always loved the language and the song of it.’

Chris Gribble – Chief Executive

Last but not least a favourite from our CEO…Chris chose ‘The Person’ by CH Sisson

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