National Poetry Day is next week!

Next Thursday – October 6th – is National Poetry day in the UK and the theme is Messages.
Because I like joining in with celebrations related to words, I’m setting up a queue on my tumblr to post a different poem every hour between 12am and midnight of National Poetry day (so that’s 12 poems in all) and they will be links from my twitter and facebook. Some of them will be tied to the Messages theme, some will simply be favourites of mine that I want to share.
The three poetry books I’m currently reading, all from my local library!
The UK Poetry Society (@poetrysociety) is hosting a lot of different projects and events, and all the information about what they’re doing can be found here –– and the twitter hashtag for all Poetry Day chat and event sharing is #NationalPoetryDay. I hope lots of you will also join in and share the poems that you love and that have shaped your lives.
And now, because I can’t talk about poetry without actually including a poem, this is one I loved as a child and was reminded about just last week, when it appeared in the latest book I received from @PrudenceCrow in my monthly vintage book subscription box.

A Tree Song by Rudyard Kipling

Of all the trees that grow so fair,
Old England to adorn,
Greater are none beneath the Sun,
Than Oak, and Ash, and Thorn.
Sing Oak, and Ash, and Thorn, good sirs,
(All of a Midsummer morn!)
Surely we sing no little thing,
In Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!
Oak of the Clay lived many a day,
Or ever Aeneas began.
Ash of the Loam was a lady at home,
When Brut was an outlaw man.
Thorn of the Down saw New Troy Town 
(From which was London born);
Witness hereby the ancient-ry
Of Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!
Yew that is old in churchyard-mould,
He breedeth a mighty bow.
Alder for shoes do wise men choose,
And beech for cups also.
But when ye have killed, and your bowl is spilled,
And your shoes are clean outworn,
Back ye must speed for all that ye need,
To Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!
Ellum she hateth mankind, and waiteth
Till every gust be laid,
To drop a limb on the head of him
That anyway trusts her shade:
But whether a lad be sober or sad,
Or mellow with ale from the horn,
He will take no wrong when he lieth along
‘Neath Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!
Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight,
Or he would call it a sin;
But–we have been out in the woods all night,
A-conjuring Summer in!
And we bring you news by word of mouth-
Good news for cattle and corn-
Now is the Sun come up from the South,
With Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!
Sing Oak, and Ash, and Thorn, good sirs
(All of a Midsummer morn):
England shall bide till Judgment Tide,
By Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!

I haven’t had a look to see if there is a tune that goes with this, or was written for it. If you know of one, please let me know!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s