Final form in a set which takes you from the cradle to the grave

The third, and final, certificate that applies to all people in the UK is the one issued after their death. The area above the main part of the certificate indicates the year of death, the registration district in which the death occurred, the sub-district and the county, in this case Norfolk. The main body ofContinue reading “Final form in a set which takes you from the cradle to the grave”

Six small steps to take you on the journey of a lifetime – or further

WHO AM I? A question many of us will have asked in our lifetime and we will have given ourselves many answers: son, father, socialist; mother, aunt, republican; daughter, teacher, royalist; grandfather, preacher, poet. There may be other roles we do not recognise ourselves playing. On the other hand we may know more about ourContinue reading “Six small steps to take you on the journey of a lifetime – or further”

Poem for the Children of Gaza

by Michael Rosen January 15, 2009 In Gaza, children, you learn that the sky kills and that houses hurt. You learn that your blanket is smoke and breakfast is dirt. You learn that cars somersault clothes turn red, friends become statues, bakers don’t sell bread. You learn that the night is a gun, that toysContinue reading “Poem for the Children of Gaza”


Charlotte Brönte 1816-1855 Life, believe, is not a dream So dark as sages say; Oft a little morning rain Foretells a pleasant day. Sometimes there are clouds of gloom, But these are transient all; If the shower will make the roses bloom, O why lament its fall? Rapidly, merrily, Life’s sunny hours flit by, Gratefully,Continue reading “Life”

I Look Up to the Sky

by Samuel ibn Naghrillah 993-1056 I look up to the sky and the stars, And down to the earth and the things that creep there. And I consider in my heart how their creation Was planned with wisdom in every detail. See the heavens above like a tent, Constructed with loops and with hooks, AndContinue reading “I Look Up to the Sky”

How the Chiefs demanded from Shirwi the Death of Khusrau Parwiz

by Ferdowsi 935 to 1020 From the Shahnameh Shirwi, a timid, inexperienced youth, Found that the throne beneath him was a snare, While readers of mankind saw that ’twas time For men of might, those that had done the ill, And had produced that coil, went from the hall Of audience to the presence ofContinue reading “How the Chiefs demanded from Shirwi the Death of Khusrau Parwiz”

My Heart

by Abu Muhammad ibn Hazm I would split open my heart with a knife, place you within and seal my wound, that you might dwell there and never inhabit another until the resurrection and judgment day — thus you would stay in my heart while I lived, and at my death you too would dieContinue reading “My Heart”

Friends Departed

by Henry Vaughan They are all gone into the world of light! And I alone sit ling’ring here; Their very memory is fair and bright, And my sad thoughts doth clear. It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast, Or those faint beams in which this hill is drest After the sun’s remove. I seeContinue reading “Friends Departed”

Death Be Not Proud

by John Donne Death be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe, For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow, Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee. From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee, Much pleasure, then from thee, much more mustContinue reading “Death Be Not Proud”

Love her or hate her you have to recognise Sylvia Plath’s poetry

Sylvia Plath, the tortured poet of the mid 20th century, has been dead for almost twice as long as she lived yet, almost 60 years after her death, the very mention of her name can start a literary war. Plath is is as close to Marmite woman as you can get. There are very fewContinue reading “Love her or hate her you have to recognise Sylvia Plath’s poetry”