We have finally arrived to the epic (okay maybe not) conclusion of this three part series. You can remind yourselves of what's come beforehand in in Part 1 and Part 2. But for those who have, let's crack on.
Ballad of a Hero – Kate Tempest
I have already given high praise for Tempest in one of my first blogs, but “Ballad of a Hero” is a great one to learn for its emotion and rhythm. It’s one you can feel the hurt and suffering in for all the characters involved: the inconsolable father, the distraught mother and the innocent child. Tempest performs it superbly – dig around for it on YouTube and you’ll find yourself a poetic treat.
A Subaltern’s Love Song – John Betjeman
This is a poem about hot days in the South London sun and a flustering middle class romance – and in my mind – one of the best poems of the 20th century. It tells the tale of a man besotted by a tennis player. Sure I’ve seen this tale before in a rather average rom-com....
The Charge of the Light Brigade – Alfred Lord Tennyson
This is another one that stuck with me from when I did LAMDA classes at school. The theme that hung onto me when I learnt this was blind optimism, 600 soldiers trying to cheat death in the field of battle. It’s basically 300, but a bit less heroic.
Prayer – Carol Ann Duffy
I’ve never been an avid reader of Duffy’s work but I do enjoy this sonnet (yes it is an English sonnet – look closely children) for its smart rhyme and rhythm. It’s a poem to hold dear and remind you that we have a lot to be thankful for. Like a fresh wedge of cake on Sunday afternoons....mmm cake.
Nightsong – Adrian Henri
Inspired by Lord Byron’s “We'll go no more a-roving”, this is just a nice poem to read out loud, despite it being about reminiscing the good times with an ex. Okay if you are going through a break-up, don’t learn this one by heart. Seriously. I don’t want to be blamed for rekindling thoughts of your failed relationship!
Coffee in Heaven – John Agard
A short and sweet poem to finish this list. I’ve added it not just because Agard recites it as a sweet little song, but also because its about coffee. I like coffee. Especially when I am writing. And now I’m craving coffee at 9pm....and cake dammit!
And there’s my list of 20. What did you make of it? Have a missed out anything so glaringly obvious that it makes you want to slap me in my sleep? Then drop a comment and let me know what you think.
All the gear, but no idea.
A phrase that I find rings very true. Particularly as a writer – you don’t need a MacBook Air or a library room in your house to be half decent at it. You mostly need a sense of imagination and an ounce of dedication. But a headful of dreams can only get you anywhere.
So, here are five essentials that might help get you started:
A word processor accompanied with a solid hard drive
I admit the first of these is pretty obvious. But the second one is a no-joke essential. ALWAYS have a back up of your next masterpiece. You’ve seen what happens if you don’t in that Love Actually pond scene...
No, no – you won’t get sexy Europeans clambering to get it back for you! It will just be a soggy, illegible papery mess. Nobody wants that.
Your favourite book
Always handy to have if you’re low on inspiration. You might read something in here to reignite that spark and remember why you wanted to write in the first place. Possibly a ‘eureka’ moment! Just avoid that dangerous path of plagiarism though...
A notebook and a trusty pen on the go – There’s only so many places your laptop can go with you. I mean you could take it to the beach...oh wait....
A pocket-sized one would be ideal just to take down ideas, notes or even that golden line for your next piece of imaginative awesomeness.
Thesaurus – Let’s be honest – there’s only so many words you know for “just” or “too” or “limited”. If your brain can hold that many words then well done – now sign up for Countdown. Whether it’s a hard copy or an online one, it’s always handy to have a word to describe these people that can store so many words in the brain. Like “smart-arse”.
Snacks – Oh, because we all love some fuel to keep us going. I’m a sucker for black coffee and whatever is festering in the fridge myself. But anything will do just to keep you ticking over. Before the hanger kicks in. Hard.
Have I missed out a killer essential? What could be replaced in my list? Hell, are you feeling a tad hangry right now? Let me know with a comment below or tweet me @wordsbadlywoven. Do give this article a cheeky share too. Farewell!
So you're here
Great stuff. Feel free to have a gander at my poetry and blog entries to the left. If you want to know why on God's green earth this page is here, click on the 'About' tab up top.