Another Woozle?

The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, announced last week that schoolchildren should learn poetry from the age of five.  Whilst I’m becoming more and more convinced that having poems in the memory is a fine thing, there’s something about the tone of these Governmental decrees that strikes fear, rather than poetry, into the heart. Much will depend on how proposals get worked out in detail – and let’s at least make encouraging noises where encouraging noises are due – but still I find myself humming in agreement many of with Michael Rosen’s misgivings.

Coincidentally, just a couple of weeks earlier, I started learning poetry myself. Or rather, I should say, resumed.  As a child I learned lots of poems for speech and drama exams and festivals, but their lines had long since vanished from memory; worse, I couldn’t even remember which poems I’d actually learned.

I’d been thinking about…

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