English the international language - free online lessons and resources for learners of English



***** Double-click ANY word on this page to read its definition *****

I find poetry very enjoyable, both reading it and writing it.

One of the keys to building vocabulary is reading things you enjoy and are interested in. There are all kinds of poetry, so if you can find a style that captures your imagination you'll really want to understand what the poet is trying to say.

I'd like to share two of my favourite poems with you. The first is called "If" by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting
Or being lied about don't deal in lies
Or being hated don't give way to hating
And yet don't look too good nor talk too wise.

If you can dream and not make dreams your master
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken
And stoop and build 'em up with worn out tools.

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch and toss
And lose and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to you hold on.

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue
Or walk with kings nor lose the common touch
If neither foes nor loving friends may hurt you
If all men count with you but none too much
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds worth of distance run
Yours is the earth and everything that's in it
And which is more - you'll be a man my son.

The second is "Futility" by Wilfred Owen. I will say no more other than to tell you it was inspired by World War I

Move him into the sun -
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds, -
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved, - still warm, - too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
- O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all?

I hope you find them interesting. I'm not going to discuss these poems any further here, but if anyone has any questions or comments, please share them with us.

I'd like to close by sharing with you two poems that I've written. They are nowhere near as powerful as the examples above, but writing poetry does bring me a lot of pleasure. The first is entitled "Rocket
to the moon"

Rocket to the moon
I hope I come down very soon
I don't like it here at all
This world is very small
And it's surrounded by a wall
I'm on a rocket to the moon
And I hope I come down very very soon.

And the second is called "Take your time"

Take your time, my friend
Take your time
Life can be strange
And dreams so hard to find
But step by step
Many mountains we can climb
So take your time, my friend
Be easy on your mind.

Please let me know what you think of my poetry. And please have a go at writing some of your own, and share your work.

Here's a rhyming dictionary you might find useful.

If you liked my poems, you can see more here.