Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Spotted this excellent Easter meditation yesterday, with the starting point of considering a Creme Egg (which I know that a good number of people will be doing over the next few weeks). Delivered by Dave Crofts of Christ Church Central in Sheffield. Think this might get a showing in one of our services before Easter.

Read Full Post »

After the Christmas C(h)ord last year, Dai Woolridge has produced another brilliant spoken word video for Christmas. One for your church or youth group? This is the preview – you can download a copy for use from Spoken Truth.

Read Full Post »

Sorry to intrude on your November with Christmas thoughts, but this lyrical spoken word presentation of the Christmas story by Dai Wooldridge is utterly wonderful. Thought I’d give you a few weeks to work out how to use it creatively in Christmas events!

[HT Reaching the Unreached]

Read Full Post »

On Saturday I took a couple of lovely ladies from our church to the Midlands Women’s Convention in Derby. It was the first year of a Midlands convention, after last year’s Northern Women’s Convention was sold out, and disorganised bookers (err, like me) missed out on tickets. What an encouragement it proved to be – around 700 women, some great talks and a terrific band.

I came away particularly challenged about my approach to bible reading. The main speaker was Kathleen Nielson, whose background is in the study of English literature. Her great passion is reading the bible *as* literature. I was reminded how easy it is to read the bible quickly, like a Tweet, or even a blogpost, hoping to grab something meaningful in as short a time as possible. In our busy lives and instant access culture the temptation to treat the Word like fast food is ever present. But, as Kathleen reminded us, a diet of fast food can leave us with malnutrition.

Since much of the bible is poetry – not just the Psalms and Proverbs, but great chunks of Old Testament prophecy in particular, we need to remind ourselves how to read a poem. Poetry reading is very out of fashion because it takes time and thought – it’s certainly not something I would automatically chose to do of a free evening! A poem is pretty much the opposite of a Tweet: I love Twitter and the short sharp thought, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take time to chew over the Word and think about what God is saying in a much more reflective way. Even if it’s hard. Which it is when you’re extraverted and easily distracted. Or even if you’re not.

All in all, it was a thought-provoking day. I spent tonnes of money on books too – the enthusiastic Jonathan Carswell and his team from TenofThose had a stall. I also had the chance to talk a wee bit about my blog in a seminar and was very pleased to tweetup with fellow blogger Sara. If you’re now feeling you’ve missed out, there are still tickets available for the Northern Women’s Convention in Manchester next Saturday. Or join us for next year’s convention on 6th October 2013.

Read Full Post »

Loved this performance poem from Terrence Walton – a riff on Psalm 23. A great reminder about the love of the Great Shepherd who walks us through the dark valleys we find ourselves in.

Read Full Post »

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have picked up that I help out at our church primary school most weeks, reading with kids who need a bit of a boost with their comprehension and language.

What’s been fun for me this year has been spending time with kids with a wide range of abilities – some are on a level 2 (just about reading) and others on a level 5 (top ability at the end of school). All the kids are in year 5 or 6 and they come to me in pairs and only have about half an hour.

Since there is so little time, I’m not able to listen to them read at length or discuss a long text, especially as I like to play comprehension board games (not very cheap but lots of fun) with them too. So over the time I’ve been meeting the children, I have gradually discovered some reading materials that are enjoyable to read but also short! And these are now coming in handy at home when bedtime is getting a bit late and the kids are still pleading for a story.

The best way to have a speedy story is to read poetry. For these year 5s and 6s I’ve been using Anne Fine’s anthologies called ‘A Shame to Miss’. Parts 1 and 2 are suitable for primary aged children and contain wonderful poems and occasional notes from Anne Fine, explaining context or difficult vocabulary. I’ve found these books really helpful for improving vocabulary and helping comprehension at school, and at home the kids enjoy the rhythm and richness of the verse. There’s enough variety to suit all abilities, but these are particularly good for the higher end readers.

My kids adore poems, especially funny ones and since they’ve been young we’ve had two books of poetry which we return to again and again. The first is The Puffin Book of Fantastic First Poems, a colourfully illustrated anthology edited by June Crebin, which is now minus its front cover and torn about the edges because it’s been so well used. The second is Mustard, Custard, Grumblebelly and Gravy by Michael Rosen. This book is hilarious, full of quirky poems about everyday situations, and has caused my children to commit poetry to memory. The first year we had the book, they wanted to spend all summer repeating ‘Tiffy taffy toffee on the flee flow floor’. They learnt it by heart and we were blessed with its silly rhymes for months.

Read Full Post »

The Vicarage Cat

We have a cat. Or rather a cat has us. She is small, very pale tabby with a mutant tail and she mews loudly. A lot. Especially in the mornings. She joined us when we lived in Singapore and spent her very earliest days living in a Singapore drain before she adopted a friend of a friend and then landed up with us.

So she’s a well travelled beast, but these days she hunts vermin in the Vicarage garden (of which more at a later date) and hunts for the warmest place to recline in the Vicarage. As you know, the latter is a bit of a challenge. In summer you might find her scanning the children on their way to school from the vantage point of our gatepost. Or she might be lying on the carpet in my bedroom, soaking up the sunshine from the south facing windows.

In winter however she cuddles up to the fire, or sits upon the lap of the poor (rather cat allergic) Vicar’s Apprentice. Sometimes we find her lurking in the bathroom, but only when the underfloor heating is on. She is a good indicator of where the temperature is bearable. For that reason, to date I have never once seen her in the Vicar’s study.

Grumpy Grandpa has written a few poems on the subject of cats. This one is a good summary of VC’s attitude to life:

A  hamster has his little wheel, a gerbil can be fun,
A guinea pig is cuddly, though you have to clean his run,
A dog’s a good companion, and will make you smile and laugh.
But a dog will have a master, a cat, she just has staff.

There’s a dead mouse in the corner, and lots of tiny hairs.
A hairball on the carpet, and some feathers on the stairs.
She won’t do what you tell her, she smells a little too,
A kitten makes you love her, then she takes charge of you.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: