Here at Clearbox sometimes we chat about more than who brought in the Digestive Thins and why there's no milk left for the tea run. Today is National Poetry Day, which inspired some cultured chat about our favourite experiences with all things literary. This one features a special guest contribution from David Torrans - owner of the famous No Alibis bookstore and collaborator from our Bushmills #AnswerTheCall campaign. Take it away guys.. David Torrans 'The Singing Gates' - Sinead MorrisseyTo say I have a “favourite” poem is like asking me what my favourite book is….it is always changing. However, most recently, the poem that resonates most strongly for me is Sinead Morrissey's, “The Singing Gates”, from her most recent collection, On Balance.It is a most evocative piece of verse. The poem highlights the importance of physical place combined with a truly unique family history. It is an homage to Divis Mountain, the cathartic healing power of physical movement and the influence of three generations of Morrissey men, her grandfather, her father and her son.A truly beautiful poem.Daniel 'Remember'- Christina RossettiAs tempting as it was to pick some Phil Lynott lyrics that he published in a book of poetry in the eighties, I'll pick one from the dreaded GCSE English Lit poetry anthology. I was never overly bothered about poetry and any chance I had of appreciating it was probably shattered by the fact that we had to “analyse, assess and evaluate” every poem thrown at us. The one that sticks out for me though is Remember by Christina Rossetti. I have no idea why this is, but it's the only one I read that I can actually remember having to write about. So, yeah. Go read it.John Extract from The Damned United Mine is on the first page of my favourite book, The Damned United. It's a football story that's not really about football. I think it's a mashing together of work by Milton, Blake and Orwell but I'm not clever enough to know that for a fact.Claire 'Do not go gentle into that good night' – Dylan ThomasI like to think of myself as somewhat stoic and this poem is all about just that, it encourages you to keep going, to fight, to stay strong and don't give up. It's a wonderful ode to the tenacity of the human spirit.Anna 'Power' - Jim MorrisonDid you know Jim Morrison was also a poet? It's probably won't come as a major surprise when you think about the lyrics to many of The Doors' songs - the man is a lyrical genius.Most of his work is quite surreal but Power from the Wilderness Collection is a good one for days when you're feeling a bit lacking in confidence or things aren't going your way.I believe it was written to describe the power behind The Doors' music and how he felt being able to influence the world around him: 'I can make the earth stop in its tracks.'My interpretation of the poem is a description of the power that lives within all of us, regardless of whether we are famous or not. We all have the ability to initiate change in our own world and that's a really powerful message.Grainne 'On Being Yourself'These days glittery inspirational quotes are plastered all over Pinterest and Insta but 'On Being Yourself' is the original #MondayMotivation. This anonymous poem is very in keeping with this year's Freedom theme as it reminds us that we should just be ourselves - trying to be all things, to all people, all the time won't get us anywhere because there are some people you just can't please and some people you just won't click with."You can be the finest apple in the world—ripe, juicy, sweet, succulent, and offer yourself to all. But you must remember that there will always be people who don't like apples."Danielle Frère JacquesOkay, this is more of a lullaby but it rhymes so I think we can count it as a poem. When I was a little girl my Parisian grandmother used to sing this to me in her beautiful french voice and it has such lovely memories for me. My grandmother is 98 years old now and will still hum the tune when she's sitting peacefully in her faithful armchair.Charlotte 'Scaffolding' by Seamus HeaneyIt's about building relationships over time, and knowing that even when cracks appear, or it isn't necessarily the same as when you first met that person, you still have a solid foundation underneath that will keep you from falling away from each other.Heaney wrote the poem for his wife in a time of crisis, but I think it's applicable to all types of relationships throughout life. I was first introduced to the poem by my A-Level English teacher, and it has stayed with me ever since. Last Christmas, I even received a script of it as a present, which now hangs on my bedroom wall.Beautifully written, and full of wisdom. Peak Seamus Heaney!Natalie 'If' by Rudyard KiplingThe Jungle Book wasn't the only great thing Kipling brought into our lives. The very famous, and pretty genius, poem provides some very insightful advice on how we should conduct ourselves in life. It reminds us that even though we sometimes can't stop bad things happening, we can choose to not be defeated by them.So there you have it, the wonderful and eclectic Clearbox Anthology to date.
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