Archives for posts with tag: Dickens

Rehearsals  An ‘Inspired by Dickens’ poetry performance will take place at NeST art gallery in Barnard Castle on Wednesday 20th June at 7p.m.  Members of Turrets youth theatre group have been meeting in The Hub to rehearse for the event which is being held on the day that the Olympic torch relay passes through the town.

Young people working towards Special Edition Arts Awards as part of the cultural Olympics Winning Words project will start the evening with a performance of new poems inspired by eight verses written by Charles Dickens.

They will be followed by local poet Anne Dauber.  Anne will read her winning poem The Great Grey Barn, which won the Barnard Castle Winning words Open Poetry competition earlier this year.

There will be a short break to purchase refreshments from the cafe before a second Turrets group take to the floor to perform their version of Nicholas Nickleby.

Tickets for the event cost £2 and are avaiable from either Jill Cole at Turrets or NeST gallery staff.

Reservations can be made by contacting the gallery vai or tel: 07413 101014

Bronze Arts Award Group working on the Dickens Challenge

Bronze Arts Award Group working on the Dickens Challenge

As World Poetry Day approaches members of the Turrets Bronze Arts Award group have been working on their Dickens Challenge.  In keeping with the ethos of the Olympic Generator Game, an online interactive poetry bank, the young people have been using a bank of words drawn from the 8 Dickens poems mentioned in the previous blog post as inspiration for their own poems.

One of the group immediately saw a Hero’s journey storyline in the poems and is working on a narrative poem about Lucy’s story, another started with ‘worms’ as the stimulus for a power point presentation incorporating finger acting to illustrate the poem.  As ever I am amazed at the creative imaginations of these talented young people.

If you would like to join in the challenge, use the word bank below to construct your own poems or quatrains and comment about the process.


a and angels alone are around at autumn beautiful bed bid blew bough brake brave by came cell child childhood choice cold command creatures creepeth dainty dale day deep didst done down drear drove dusting Edmund eat earth ere eventide father far feet few food for forest Gabriel George glade god green grown Grub had hand he head hear heavenly here high his holy hopes how hundred human hymn I in is ivy juicy keep kneel’d labourers land landscape lay leaves lie life like lodgings lone Lucy man me meadow meal(s) mound my Northon O oer of oh old on one pale peaceful people’s plant prayer prophet pure quiet raved rich richly right rocky round ruins sad sand sat saved see shade shadows ship slake sleep smite so song steal stone stream strewn Squire that their thick thirst thy to upon vigil water(s) ween wide wind when whence who Wiltshire worms wreck

Feeling dauntedIt is possible.  In true ‘Blue Peter’ style, here’s one I made earlier:

Lord Balliol’s Song

At eventide shadows slake the mound

Whence Balliol’s castle steals its ground.

Ivy creepeth o’er the land

Like autumn leaves strewn by hand.

You may have noticed that I’ve added a few words.  That’s allowed.  As is a change of tense for the verbs.  Have a go and see what you come up with!


Knitting Dickens

Knitting Dickens

I have been busy this week using the poetry code to knit samples of Dickens poetry.  This is the reverse of The Hymn of the Wiltshire Labourers.  As you can see it looks like the wires of a telephone exchange or backstage at a rock concert.  I often wonder how electricians know what goes where.  All these threads have now been cut and woven into the back, and the front resembles a piece of ancient text – only in coloured wool rather than sculpted stone.  As I was working on this piece I recalled a childhood memory.

When I was at junior school we used to go to Saturday morning cinema at the Odeon in Bishop Auckland.  By we I mean hundreds of children from the town.  Films played to a packed house and there were activities during the interval.  One time we were asked to bring in scraps of wool to join into a giant multi-coloured ball to send to Africa so that people could knit blankets to keep warm.  A while ago this was the inspiration for a poem which I invited the audience to perform as a parallel chant during the Dances with Sheep evening at NeST last March.  The words are as follows:

Group A

(Recites the verse while group B chants the chorus)

Scraps of ev’ry colour,

any old yarn will do.

Red, blue, green and orange,

white and multi too.

Join them all together,

to make one ball, brand new.

Send it off to Africa,

a blanket from me to you.

Group B

(Chants the following chorus four times while Group A recites the verse)

Wind them round, wind them round,

wind them round and round.

You might like to try this out with a school or community group and develop a discussion about the way the colours of the British and African flags have been woven into the poem.  This could form the springboard for poetry inspired by the Olympic flag which was created at the suggestion of Baron de Coubertin in 1913.

The flag has five interlaced rings in the centre of a white background.  The rings represent the five continents joined in the Olympic movement.  Each country has one or more of the Olympic colours in its national flag.  The colours are: blue, yellow, black, green and red.

The flag was flown for the first time at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp and will fly from the main Olympic stadium in London in 2012 as well as from the other official Olympic venues.

Once you or your group have created a poem you can upload it here.  Follow this blog over the next few weeks for details of forthcoming poetry competitions linked to Barnard Castle’s Winning Words project.