Poem of the week 10

Witches’ Song from Macbeth

William Shakespeare


Round about the cauldron go;

In the poison’s entrails throw.

Toad, that under cold stone

Days and nights has thirty-one

Swelter’d venom, sleeping got,

Boil thou first i’th’charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble:

Fire, burn; and cauldron, bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the cauldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt, and toe of frog,

Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,

Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing.

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble:

Fire, burn; and cauldron, bubble.


Poem of the Week 09

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou


You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.


Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.


Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.


Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?


Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.


You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.


Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?


Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.


Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.



Poem of the week 08


Clive Sansom


The year slows down. The swallows go,

Leaving our valley far below

Floating in mist. Nests in the eaves

Are empty, the gutters choked with leaves.

There are berries on the bryony,

The hawthorn and the rowan-tree;

The squirrel now forgets to swing,

The fieldmouse stops his scampering,

Searching in every hole and rut

For beechmast, acorn, hazelnut.

Even the butterflies are slow

In their brown wanderings to and fro …

And later, frosts will come, to take

The rings and ripples from the lake

And lend her, as those wrinkles pass,

The smooth transparency of glass.

Poem of the Week 07

Hunter Trials

John Betjeman


It’s awf’lly bad luck on Diana,

Her ponies have swallowed their bits;

She fished down their throats with a spanner

And frightened them all into fits.


So now she’s attempting to borrow.

Do lend her some bits, Mummy, do;

I’ll lend her my own for to-morrow,

But to-day I’ll be wanting them too.


Just look at Prunella on Guzzle,

The wizardest pony on earth;

Why doesn’t she slacken his muzzle

And tighten the breech in his girth?


I say, Mummy, there’s Mrs. Geyser

And doesn’t she look pretty sick?

I bet it’s because Mona Lisa

Was hit on the hock with a brick.


Miss Blewitt says Monica threw it,

But Monica says it was Joan,

And Joan’s very thick with Miss Blewitt,

So Monica’s sulking alone.


And Margaret failed in her paces,

Her withers got tied in a noose,

So her coronets caught in the traces

And now all her fetlocks are loose.


Oh, it’s me now. I’m terribly nervous.

I wonder if Smudges will shy.

She’s practically certain to swerve as

Her Pelham is over one eye.



Oh, wasn’t it naughty of Smudges?

Oh, Mummy, I’m sick with disgust.

She threw me in front of the Judges,

And my silly old collarbone’s bust.


Poem of the Week 06

Question Time

Julia Donaldson


How many books have you written?

Have you been writing for years?

Where do you get all the paper?

Where do you get your ideas?


Do you get bumps on your fingers?

Do you get aches in your wrist?

Please can I go to the toilet?

Did you write “Oliver Twist”?


I’ve got a book about spiders.

I’ve got a cut on my knee.

I’ve got an aunt who speaks German.

Gemma keeps tickling me.


Are you quite old?

Are you famous?

Are you a millionaire?

I wasn’t putting my hand up – I was just twiddling my hair.


How many plays have you written?

Do you write one every day?

Do you… oh dear, I’ve forgotten

What I was going to say.


Will you be staying to dinner?

Will you go home on the bus?

How many poems have you written?

Will you write one about us?