Poetry Friday: The Thought Fox (Ted Hughes)

Poetry Friday: where I share my long-time or momentary poems, once a week. Check out the rest here   THE THOUGHT-FOX I imagine this midnight moment’s forest: Something else is alive Beside the clock’s loneliness And this blank page where my fingers move. Through the window I see no star: Something more near Though deeper within darkness Is entering the loneliness: Cold, delicately as the dark snow, A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf; Two eyes serve a movement, that now And again now, and now, and now Sets neat prints into the snow Between trees, and warily a lame Shadow …

Poetry Friday: Slattern (Kate Clanchy)

Poetry Friday: where I share my long-time or momentary poems, once a week. Check out the rest here Slattern I leave myself about, slatternly, bits of me, and times I liked: I let them go on lying where they fall, crumple, if they will, I know fine how to make them walk and breathe again. Sometimes at night, or on the train, I dream I’m dancing, or lying in someone’s arms who says he loves my eyes in French, and again and again I am walking up your road, that first time, bidden and wanted, the blossom on the trees, …

Poetry Friday: What do Women Want? (Kim Addonizio)

Poetry Friday: where I share my long-time or momentary poems, once a week. Check out the rest here “What do Women Want?” I want a red dress. I want it flimsy and cheap, I want it too tight, I want to wear it until someone tears it off me. I want it sleeveless and backless, this dress, so no one has to guess what’s underneath. I want to walk down the street past Thrifty’s and the hardware store with all those keys glittering in the window, past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old donuts in their cafe, past the Guerra …

Roald Dahl’s poetry – a forgotten gem

I’ve been falling love with Revolting Rhymes again. I remember loving it as a child, watching the VHS animated versions over and over again – my mum must have been absolutely sick of them.   Teaching a Year 9 unit on character, I’ve returned to some of them. It’s a challenging unit about re-imagining characters. A typical series of lessons, for example, will have us look at the original Pygmalian story, read a section of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalian, watch a section of My Fair Lady, explore Duffy’s ‘Galatea’ and then write their own monologue of Galatea coming to life. I …

Flowers and fancies in Shakespeare

We all know if we ask for symbols of love, the rose is high up the list. Floriography – studying the meaning of flowers – has more or less dropped out of English custom. We might occasionally hear that lilies are better for funerals, but most of us don’t attach much symbolic meaning when our loved ones show up with a bouquet. Pre-twentieth century though it’s a different story. Victorians wrote whole handbooks on the meanings of flowers and dedicated time to deciphering the hidden messages of a buttonhole. Flowers in paintings back to the medieval period were also loaded …

Is Offred too passive to be satisfactory? (part 2)

Read part one of this blog here Thirty years of feminism later In the television series, Elisabeth Moss’s Offred is more feisty from the start, with out-loud sarcastic quips and internal bitchy comments. She still doesn’t fully rebel, but there is definitely something more spiky about her – a sense that she hasn’t given herself over to the regime of Gilead even for the self-protection that it offers: her mind is still her own. She offers comforting conversation to other handmaids, seeks out quiet private moments with the handmaids and Nick, and on several occasions bites back at Serena Joy’s …