1. Maya Angelou – Still I Rise
Chosen by Lizzy Hurst.
Reason: This is a great poem about self confidence and self respect. A strong woman not letting her gender or skin colour hold her back – it’s an empowering poem about overcoming prejudice and injustice.
2. AA Milne – Disobedience
Chosen by Sarah Feist.
Reason: This poem was read to me by my dad every evening until I learnt it off by heart at 9 years old. Sadly, he died when my daughter was 4, but he still had the chance to read it to her.
3. William B Yeats – No Second Troy
Chosen by Sue Heads.
Reason: I studied this poem for my A Levels (back in the day) and I was captivated by the line “Why should I blame her that she filled my days with misery.”
4 – Laurence Binyon – The Battle of Stamford Bridge
Chosen by Julie Jessop.
Reason: I took this poem from a book of narrative verse which I used when studying for my English O Level in 1964! Now that takes me back a few years…
5 – John Keats – To Autumn
Chosen by Claire Davies.
Reason: I have known this poem since my school days and I love the feeling of Autumn. As it will be October when this is read it seems very apt.
6 – Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken
Chosen by Suzanne Taylor.
Reason: I studied this poem at school so I know it well. At the age of 16 I was delighted that poetry could ‘talk to me’. My own life has been a lot about taking the road less travelled, I look at it as a hymn to fortune and courage.
7 – Erin Hanson – If I Showed You My Teardrops
Chosen by Kenneth Ireland.
Reason: My girlfriend sent me this poem after we had fallen out of love and it made me cry. Needless to say, we got back on track. I think it is a beautiful poem.
8 – Thomas Hood – I Remember, I Remember
Chosen by ANON.
Reason: This wonderful poem was read to me by my father. It recalls childhood memories with a gloomy present.
9 – Simon Armitage – Remains
Chosen by David Michael.
Reason : I heard this poem being beautifully read by the Head Boy at Claverham school during the 100th commemoration of WW1. It shows that memories of violence linger a long time after leaving the battlefield.
10 – Rudyard Kipling – If
Chosen by Jill Gyngell.
Reason: I love this poem, and it brings back great memories of working at the beautiful Batemans.