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Jodie’s Story: ‘This is just to say’ Sunday, 14 March 2010

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My name is Jodie and i am in S2 in Queensferry High School.

This is just to say

I have eaten
The plums
That were in
The icebox

And which
You were probably
Saving
For breakfast

Forgive me
They were delicious
So sweet
And so cold.

I like this poem because…..

It is rotten like a letter telling someone that the are sorry for eating the plums and they liked them and they hoping that the owner of the plums would forgive them.

Kyle, Robbie, Nicola, and Anna’s Stories Sunday, 14 February 2010

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Kyle carries a poem by Emily Dickinson, liking the line “I’ll let my head be just in sight.”

Robbie carries the anonymous poem “Don’t Quit” because “it’s good and it makes sense.”

You can read the full text of “Don’t Quit” here.

Nicola carries the poem “Valentine” by Carol Ann Duffy.  Nicola’s favourite line is

“I give you an onion.

Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips forever.”

Anna carries the poem “This is just to say” by William Carlos Williams.  She likes the stanza: “I have eaten the plums / that were in the ice box.”  Anna writes, “I like this … a lot!  I had plums for breakfast!”

You can read the rest of the poem here.

Colin’s stories Monday, 25 January 2010

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I carry a lot of poetry in my head – it’s the safest place to have it. If I had it in my wallet, I might be robbed; if it was in my pocket I might forget to take it out, and it could end up in the washing machine (like my hearing aid did recently).

Fragments of much-loved poems somehow stay intact and distinct in my memory. At any given moment I can recall them, and they each bring something special back into focus. Dipping and scooping, I retrieve Wallace Stevens’ ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking At a Blackbird’, Norman MacCaig’s ‘A Man in Assynt’, William Blake’s ‘The Sick Rose’, T S Eliot’s ‘Gerontion’, William Carlos Williams’ ‘Flowers By the Sea’, Dylan Thomas’s ‘Over Sir John’s Hill’, Paul Celan’s ‘Death Fugue’, and many more.

But the one which comes to mind more than most is Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’. It’s a poem I’ve often read in workshops, and it seems to touch other people too. So I love for that reason. But it’s more for the personal relevance the poem has for me. So many times in my elongating life I’ve had to make choices – we all do – and Frost sets out the dilemma beautifully. Faced with two routes in life I’ve often taken “the one less travelled by”, and my life has been made immeasurably richer.

Colin Will is a poet, publisher, teacher and blogger.

Hamish’s stories Wednesday, 20 January 2010

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I don’t literally carry poems round with me (though there was a time – late teens, early twenties – when I took Robert Graves’s The White Goddess everywhere), but there are poems, or lines from poems, which have inhabited my head for years. They’re there for a variety of reasons: Browning’s ‘My Last Duchess’ for its virtuosity and tone; William Carlos Williams’s red wheelbarrow for its simple saying so much; Emily Dickinson’s ‘There is no frigate like a book’ for its slogan; Edwin Morgan’s ‘The Apple’s Song’ for its dizzy voice; Auden’s ‘Look, Stranger’ for its sound; Catullus’s ‘odi et amo’ for its telling truth about love and Sappho’s ‘phainetai moi…’ for the accurate delineation of the physiology and psychology of being in love; and my favourite line of poetry, ‘The silly buckets on the deck’, from Coleridge’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, for – I don’t know – its ineffability? They’re all touchstones.

Hamish Whyte is a poet, publisher and former librarian and bibliographer. He has worked extensively with the Scottish Poetry Library, not least on granting them the acquisition of his Edwin Morgan Archive.