6 Poems to ponder on National Poetry Day

English Poetry on National Poetry Day…….from John Masefield’s ‘Cargoes’ the first poem I read at George Dixon Grammar School for Boys in September 1969 to TS Eliot’s ‘The Wasteland’ one of the last poems I studied at school in Birmingham on the day the #Birmingham Literature Festival starts…….@BrummieBard AKA Keith Bracey

The Historic England Blog

From William Wordsworth to Stevie Smith, generations of English poets have been inspired by place.

Stirred by the buildings and boat yards, stations and suburbs of their days, each have found a muse in both extraordinary and commonplace surroundings.

For this year’s National Poetry Day, we take a look at 6 poems that have been inspired by England’s glorious places:

1. A Mind’s Journey to Diss, John Betjeman

“Above the chimney-pots we’ll go
Through Stepney, Stratford-atte-Bow
And out to where the Essex marsh
Is filled with houses new and harsh
Till, Witham pass’d, the landscape yields
On left and right to widening fields,
Flint church-towers sparkling in the light,
Black beams and weather-boarding white,
Cricket-bat willows silvery green
And elmy hills with brooks between,
Maltings and saltings, stack and quay
And, somewhere near, the grey North Sea.”

The former Poet Laureate, John Betjeman, is renowned for poetry imbued with nostalgia…

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